Veteran Australian raider Alcopop will get every chance to salute in his maiden overseas’ assignment having drawn ideally in barrier four for Sunday’s 2012 Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse.
The Jake Stephens-trained Jeune eight-year-old, last seen finally scoring an elusive Group 1 win in the Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington on November 3, was one of the big winners in the barrier draw for this year’s edition of the HK$22 million Group 1 The Longines Hong Kong Cup (2000m).
One of the four major features run on Hong Kong International Race Day, which is one of the world’s most famous and lucrative days of thoroughbred racing, the Hong Kong Cup 2012 attracted a final field of 13 hopefuls.
Among those 13 is Australia’s second representative at the meeting Alcopop who joins Hong Kong Sprint favourite Sea Siren as the Aussie-trained hopefuls looking to match it with the locals.
Due to be ridden by ace Aussie hoop Craig Williams, in the saddle for Alcopop’s Mackinnon win, the champ will be out to continue their career best season on the turf that also included a second to Ocean Park in the Caulfield Stakes and second to last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden in the Caulfield Cup.
While they have the form, the jockey and now the gun draw Alcopop is still one of the longer-priced chances in the Hong Kong Cup odds this year.
He pays around $12 – an equal price with the John Moore-trained Irian who comes off a devastatingly close second to California Memory in the Group 2 The Longines Jockey Club Cup at the same track and distance on November 18 and who will be ridden by 2010 Melbourne Cup winning hoop Gerald Mosse from gate eight.
The latest Hong Kong Cup betting markets meanwhile are led by Cirrus Des Aigles, the French-trained six-year-old having won the Group 2 Qatar Prix Dollar (1950m) by a sizzling nine lengths before their last start second to the world’s best horse Frankel in the Group 1 Champion Stakes (2011m) at Royal Ascot on October 20.
The favourite has also come up trumps with a nice Hong Kong Cup barrier jumping one outside of Alcopop from five.
The other top fancies for the race are then last start HK Jockey Club Cup winner and defending champ California Memory who has drawn the inside alley, Sanois and the Alain de Royer Dupre-trained Dansili mare Giofra who ran an eye-catching third in the Group 1 Prix de Lo’Opera (2000m) in the wet at Longchamp last time out from barrier 14 of 14 carrying 58kg.
Aussie punters will also be following the run of the Queen’s horse Carlton House in the event, the currently Sir Michael Stout-trained galloper drawn in gate two.
There is interest down under on this Street Cry colt as they will race in Australia next year under the preparation of Sydney’s Gai Waterhouse.
See below for the full 2012 Hong Kong International Cup field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2012 Hong Kong Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Sha Tin Race 8 – 4:30pm (local time) – 09/12/2012
|1||CIRRUS DES AIGLES||C Barande-Barbe||O Peslier||5||126|
|2||CALIFORNIA MEMORY||A S Cruz||M Chadwick||1||126|
|3||CARLTON HOUSE||Sir M R Stoute||R Moore||2||126|
|4||ALCOPOP||J Stephens||C Williams||4||126|
|5||SWEET Orange||D E Ferraris||W C Marwing||10||126|
|6||IRIAN||J Moore||G Mosse||8||126|
|7||ZAIDAN||J Moore||J McDonald||12||126|
|8||DAN EXCEL||J Moore||N Callan||9||126|
|9||MILITARY ATTACK||J Moore||B Prebble||13||126|
|10||SAONOIS||J-P Gauvin||A Hamelin||7||123|
|11||FEUERBLITZ||M Figge||M Guyon||6||123|
|12||AUTUMN GOLD||S Woods||D Whyte||3||123|
|13||GIOFRA||A de Royer-Dupre||C Soumillon||11||122|