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Maurice wins the 2016 Longines Hong Kong Cup.
The last big event of the year on the international horse racing calendar is the Longines Hong Kong International Races, billed as the Turf World Championships. The four Group 1 events will be contested over the right-handed 1 3/16 mile turf course at Sha Tin on Sunday afternoon (late Saturday night/early Sunday morning in America), all of which are under weight-for-age conditions. North American racing fans can watch and wager on the full card of 10 races through TVG in the USA, HPI-TV in Canada and at selected simulcast locations, with the first race going to post at 12:25PM local time (11:25PM ET).
The Longines Hong Kong Vase (G1) will kick off the day's stakes action at 2:00PM local time (1:00AM ET), carded as race 4. The race drew 12 entrants and will be run over the classic distance of 2400 meters (about 1 1/2 miles) around 2 turns. Last year's runner-up Highland Reel is back, winless since the Prince of Wales's Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot, and here off third place finishes in both the QIPCO Champion Stakes (G1) at Ascot and the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) at Del Mar. Regular rider Ryan Moore gets the call out of post 8 for trainer Aidan O'Brien. In to challenge him include Breeders' Cup Turf winner Talismatic, who drew the rail for jockey Maxime Guyon and trainer Andre Fabre, and Grand Prix de Deauville (G2) winner Tiberian, 7th in the Melbourne Cup (G1) last out, who will break from the 9 hole with Olivier Peslier in the irons.
The Longines Hong Kong Sprint (G1), race 5, is the next race at a distance of 1200 meters (about 6 furlongs) around one turn, and a field of 13 goes to post at 2:40PM (1:40AM ET). Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) winner Stormy Liberal will try to pull off a huge upset, racing right-handed for the first time with new jockey Silvestre de Sousa out of post 11. Jockey Club Sprint (G2) winner Mr. Stunning is expected to be the favorite, with Nash Rawiller aboard from post 4, and last year's runner-up Lucky Bubbles drawing the rail with Hugh Bowman in the irons.
Race 7, the Longines Hong Kong Mile (G1) drew a full field of 14 and will run at 3:50PM (2:50AM ET), at 1600 meters (about 1 mile) around one turn. Defending champion Beauty Only is back and should be favored, drawing post 12 with regular rider Zac Purton getting the call for trainer Tony Cruz. Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) and Woodbine Mile (G1) runner-up Lancaster Bomber drew post 11 for Ryan Moore and trainer Aidan O'Brien, while Satono Aladdin, 7th in this race last year, flies the Japanese flag but is winless since the Yasuda Kinin (G1) in June. New rider Hugh Bowman gets the call in post 4 for trainer Yasutoshi Ikee.
The highlight race of the day is the Longines Hong Kong Cup (G1), a 2000-meter (about 1 1/4 mile) trip around two turns, where a field of 12 will go to post at 4:30PM (3:30AM ET) as race 8. E.P. Taylor Stakes (G1) winner Blond Me will try to upset this classy field, with regular rider Oisin Murphy getting the call in post 10 for trainer Andrew Balding. Deauville, third in the Arlington Million (G1) but 11th in the Woodbine Mile (G1) drew post 2 for trainer Aidan O'Brien and jockey Ryan Moore. Poet's World represents England, with Andrea Atzeni aboard for trainer Sir Michael Stoute from the outside 12 post. He comes here off second place finishes in both the Irish Champion Stakes (G1) at Leopardstown and the QIPCO Champion Stakes (G1) at Ascot. Last year's Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther, winner of the Jockey Club Cup (G1), the main local prep, drew post 3 for trainer John Moore and jockey Tommy Berry.
Past performances are available for all the races in PDF format in their form guide. These are not traditional North American type past performances, but they are self-explanatory. Note that program numbers do not correspond with post positions. Lots of other info like past winners and photos is also provided in the form guide. Click the race numbers below for a race card with trainers, jockeys, weights, and the silks of each horse.
The connections for the Hong Kong Cup at the barrier draw.
|Longines Hong Kong Cup (Group 1) – 2000m|
HK$25 million (US$3.2 million) Race 8
|3||POET’S WORD||A Atzeni||12|
|6||SECRET WEAPON||N Rawiller||11|
|7||ROBIN OF NAVAN||S Clipperton||4|
|9||TIME WARP||Z Purton||5|
|10||WAR DECREE||J Heffernan||7|
|11||BLOND ME||O Murphy||10|
|12||SMART LAYER||Y Take||9|
The connections for the Hong Kong Mile at the barrier draw.
|Longines Hong Kong Mile (Group 1) – 1600m|
HK$23 million (US$3.0 million) Race 7
|1||BEAUTY ONLY||Z Purton||12|
|2||HELENE PARAGON||T Berry||2|
|4||SATONO ALADDIN||H Bowman||4|
|5||JOYFUL TRINITY||G Mosse||10|
|6||LIGHTNING SPEAR||O Murphy||1|
|7||SEASONS BLOOM||J Moreira||5|
|8||HORSE OF FORTUNE||U Rispoli||13|
|10||BEAUTY GENERATION||K C Leung||9|
|11||SICHUAN DAR||N Rawiller||6|
|12||WESTERN EXPRESS||S Clipperton||7|
|13||LANCASTER BOMBER||R Moore||11|
|14||ROLY POLY||J Heffernan||14|
The connections for the Hong Kong Vase at the barrier draw.
|Longines Hong Kong Vase (Group 1) – 2400m|
HK$18 million (US$2.3 million) Race 4
|1||HIGHLAND REEL||R Moore||8|
|4||CHEMICAL CHARGE||O Murphy||4|
|5||DANEHILL KODIAC||S Levey||10|
|6||EAGLE WAY||T Berry||5|
|7||MAX DYNAMITE||G Schofield||2|
|8||TOSEN BASIL||J Moreira||7|
|9||GOLD MOUNT||Z Purton||12|
|10||HELENE CHARISMA||S Clipperton||6|
|11||SMART CALL||J Crowley||11|
The connections for the Hong Kong Sprint at the barrier draw.
|Longines Hong Kong Sprint (Group 1) – 1200m|
HK$18.5 million (US$2.4 million) Race 5
|1||MR STUNNING||N Rawiller||4|
|2||LUCKY BUBBLES||H Bowman||1|
|5||AMAZING KIDS||B Prebble||6|
|6||NOT LISTENIN’TOME||T Berry||10|
|7||SIGNS OF BLESSING||S Pasquier||5|
|8||THE RIGHT MAN||F-X Bertras||13|
|10||D B PIN||O Doleuze||12|
|11||STORMY LIBERAL||S de Sousa||11|
|12||LET’S GO DONKI||Y Iwata||7|
|13||ONCE IN A MOON||Z Purton||2|
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