ENTRIES were revealed last week for the four Hong Kong International Races which will be staged at Sha Tin on 9 December, with strong European representation set to take on a deep looking local defence and a talented team from Japan. The Sprint has also been a happy hunting ground for the home team but Japan’s best sprinter, Godolphin’s Fine Needle, looks a big threat, while Andre Fabre is set to saddle the same owner’s Inns Of Court in the Hong Kong Mile. The Aga Khan’s Eziyra is an exciting name among 11 acceptors for the feature Hong Kong Cup over 1m2f, a race which has eluded European trainers since Ed Dunlop struck with Snow Fairy in 2010. “Eziyra will be running at Sha Tin but we’re not sure yet whether it will be in the Vase or the Cup,” said trainer Dermot Weld. “She has been accepted for the Cup and has been nominated for the Vase.”
Tony Cruz has booked William Buick for the mercurial Pakistan Star in the Vase over 1m4f, a race in which the European challenge is headed by the Fabretrained Waldgeist. Vase entry Latrobe will be a first runner at the meeting for Joseph O’Brien and is one of several contenders coming on from the Melbourne Spring Carnival. “Latrobe ran very well to be beaten only a head in the Mackinnon Stakes and going back up to a mile and a half at Sha Tin will suit him,” said O’Brien. Charlie Fellowes will run 2018 Dubai World Cup Carnival winner and Melbourne Cup third Prince Of Arran, who previously landed the Lexus Stakes over the Vase trip. “I think a mile and a half is a very interesting trip to be running him over, because there have been a few occasions this season when I feel he hasn’t quite managed to get home over two miles,” said Fellowes.
“I think the track will suit him but it’s a strong race.” The Hong Kong Mile has been a stronghold for locally-trained horses in recent years and John Moore’s Beauty Generation is likely to be the hot favourite having shown he is in the form to back up last year’s win setting a track record in the Jockey Club Mile. Prix de la Foret 1-2 One Master and the aforementioned Inns Of Court make the trip for trainers William Haggas and Andre Fabre, while Andrew Balding fields Beat The Bank.