The 2013 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) is arguably the most open race on the Hong Kong International Raceday program; with twelve talented gallopers included in the final field for the Group 1 event at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Three-time Group 1 winner Military Attack ($3.80) is the favourite to take out the 2000 metre race despite being unable to find winning form since he returned to the races in October.
Military Attack ended his autumn campaign with three straight victories, including two at Group 1 level in the QEII Cup (2000m) and Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m), but finished a disappointing sixth in the Group 2 Sha Tin Trophy (1600m) on October 27 before finishing third in the Group 2 Jockey Club Cup (2000m) just over a fortnight ago.
The Oratorio gelding was beaten by Endowing in the Jockey Club Cup and the son of Danehill Dancer is currently priced at $4 to record his maiden win at Group 1 level in the Hong Kong Cup this weekend.
Endowing has performed well since returning to the races in October, finishing second in the Excellent Handicap (1600m) before taking out the Group 3 SA Ladies’ Purse (1800m), and could well start favourite in Hong Kong Cup betting markets.
Veteran French gelding Cirrus Des Aigles finished a disappointing seventh behind Snow Fairy in the 2010 edition of the Hong Kong Cup and fifth the following year and will be returning to Hong Kong for his third tilt at the prestigious event.
Cirrus Des Aigles looked as though he may have been past his best when he failed to fire at the start of his 2013 campaign but has returned to his best form with wins in the Group 3 La Coupe De Maisons-Laffitte (2000m) and Group 2 Prix Dollar (1950m) before finishing a narrow second behind Godolpin superstar Farhh in the Group 1 Champion Stakes (2011m) at Ascot on October 19.
The Even Top gelding is on the third line of Hong Kong Cup betting markets and is chasing his first win at Group 1 since he took out the Group 1 Prix Ganay (2100m) in France at the start of last year.
There are no Australian-trained runners in the 2013 Hong Kong Club final field but Andrew Balding-trained Side Glance is no stranger to Australian racing fans after he ventured down under for a successful 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
Side Glance finish sixth behind Shamus Award in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26, after over racing in the final stages of the race, and recorded his maiden win at Group 1 level with an impressive victory in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
The Passing Glance gelding is currently considered an outsider in Hong Kong Cup betting markets, at odds of $21, and is behind Akeed Mofeed ($5.50), Little Mike ($8.50) and Tokei Halo ($18) in the lastest betting update at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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