Aussies Target 2012 Hong Kong International Races

A strong Australian contingent has been entered for the lucrative Hong Kong International Races 2012 running at the end of the year including the John O’Shea-trained Manikato Stakes winner Sea Siren.

Held at the famous Sha Tin Racecourse in December each year the four big events that are known collectively as the Hong Kong International Races are the:

  • HK$22 million Longines Hong Kong Cup (2000m) – The world’s richest 2000m turf race
  • HK$20 million Longines Hong Kong Mile (1600m)
  • HK$15 million Longines Hong Kong Vase (2400m)
  • HK$15 million Longines Hong Kong Sprint (1200m)

    Sea Siren

    Manikato Stakes winner Sea Siren could be headed to Hong Kong at the end of the year

This year the four Group 1 features are due to take place on December 9 with over $9 million Australian on offer, the total number of early entries reaching 267 horses that are trained across 13 countries.

Among them are 80 internationally recognised Group 1 winners and 24 Australian-trained horses.

The race which drew the largest number of Australian entries was the 2012 Hong Kong Cup with:

  • December Draw (Mark Kavanagh)
  • Glass Harmonium (Michael Moroney)
  • Happy Trails (Paul Beshara)
  • Fat Al (Gai Waterhouse)
  • Linton (John Sadler)
  • Mr Chard (Dean Lawson)
  • Shoot Out (Chris Waller)
  • Strike The Stars (Anthony Cummings)

The last four are dually nominated for the iconic meeting with Linton, Mr Chard, Shoot Out and Strike The Stars also entered for the 2012 Hong Kong Mile along with:

  • Fawkner (Robert Hickmott)
  • Green Birdie (Tony Vasil)
  • Happy Zero (John Hawkes)
  • Sincero (Stephen Farley)
  • Wild And Proud (Gai Waterhouse)

Green Birdie could also go to the 2012 Hong Kong Sprint as one of nine Australian-trained horses nominated for the race along with:

  • Sea Siren (John O’Shea)
  • Buffering (Robert Heathcote)
  • Fire Thunderbolt (Phillip Stokes)
  • Hallowell Belle (Gai Waterhouse)
  • Nobby Snip (Gai Waterhouse)
  • Sister Madly (John Sadler)
  • Spirit Of Boom (Tony Gollan)
  • Temple Of Boom (Tony Gollan)

Sea Siren is the most notable of the Hong Kong hopefuls this summer after her impressive first-up victory in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley last Friday night.

The four-year-old Fastnet Rock mare is now a triple Group 1 winner having also taken out the BTC Cup – Doomben 10,000 double in Brisbane during the winter.

She will look to make it a quartet of elite levels next start racing in the Melbourne Cup Carnival’s $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) on Emirates Stakes Day, November 10, before her possible trip to Hong Kong.

“I’d love to take her to Hong Kong, it’s the pinnacle of international racing in the world and I think she’d be very effective,” O’Shea said after she scored the Manikato trophy last week.

As for Cox Plate failure Linton, they are also in the mix for the 2012 Hong Kong Vase joining three other Aussie entries in:

  • Glencadam Gold (Gai Waterhouse)
  • Voila Ici (Peter Moody)
  • Winchester (John Sadler)

The above three are also still officially entered for world’s richest handicap race, Australia’s own $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday November 6.

Sadler’s American import Winchester is the shortest-priced of the Hong Kong Vase-bound horses in the Melbourne Cup 2012 odds at bookmaker.com.au paying $41.

The big name Hong Kong Vase entries recognisable to the punters down under are then the past two Melbourne cup winners with the French-trained duo Dunaden (2011) and Americain (2010).

The Alain de Royer Dupre-trained Americain currently tops the Melbourne Cup betting markets at bookmaker.com.au paying $6 after running an eye-catching fourth to $7 Melbourne Cup second favourite Duanden in the Caulfield Cup last start.

Duanden meanwhile will not only be defending their Melbourne Cup title this year but could also be given the chance to go back-to-back in the HK Vase after winning the race after their Cup triumph last year.

Americain has also raced in the Hong Kong Vase previously when third behind Mastery in the classic two years ago on the back of their three length Melbourne Cup success.

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