Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Last year’s runner-up and the 2015 champion Highland Reel is tipped to return to winning form and take out Sunday’s Hong Kong Vase 2017 in the Irish galloper’s likely career swansong.
The Group 1 HK$18 million The Longines Hong Kong Vase (2400m) is one of four majors running at Sha Tin Racecourse as part of the lucrative Hong Kong International Race Day and a dozen stayers are engaged in the mile and a half feature.
The latest Hong Kong Vase odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have the Aidan O’Brien-trained Galileo entire Highland Reel installed as the $3.50 favourite.
Last season the international performer finished runner-up to Satono Crown in the Hong Kong Vase results after saluting the year before.
Europe’s highest-earning racehorse, Highland Reel returns for his career final this weekend and Irish hoop Seamie Heffernan was full of praise for the old warhorse speaking to the Racing Post this week.
“He’s an iron horse. It’s great to be around him. He’s so uncomplicated, genuine and has a great will to win,” Heffernan said.
It is a close top half of the Hong Kong Vase betting markets this summer with a further five single-figure fancies including the $4.20 second elect Kiseki from Japan.
The Japanese celebrated success in the race last year with the aforementioned Satono Crown and return with livewire chance, young Rulership three-year-old colt Kiseki an elite level winner at home against his own age an untapped.
French duo Talismanic ($5.50) and Tiberian ($6.50) are the other best in betting.
Andre Fabre prepares Godolphin-raced Medaglia D’Oro four-year-old Talismanic, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf, who has done plenty of travelling from France to the United States and now Hong Kong this season.
“Everything has been good with Talismanic since Del Mar. He has been kept ticking over and is in good form,” Godolphin France’s Racing Manager Lisa-Jane Graffard told Live Trading News.
“He travelled back well from America, and has travelled out nicely to Hong Kong.
“The horse has a great temperament, which helps, and he has shown himself to be very adaptable.
“Talismanic is maturing and improving all the time, so who knows what level he can reach in Hong Kong. It will pose a different challenge, but he should run very well again.
“In the past, he has run better going left-handed (as at Del Mar) than right-handed (as he will encounter in Hong Kong), which could be one negative to look out for.”
Tiberian meanwhile is trained by Alain Couetil and is a graduate out of this year’s Melbourne Cup.
The six-year-old enjoyed back-to-back Group wins over 2500m at home before travelling to Victoria on the first Tuesday of November to finish seventh from a wide barrier (22 of 23) behind the Irish-trained winner Rekindling in the Group 1 $6.25 million Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Back to 2400m should suit Tiberian as the Tiberius Caesar entire makes his Hong Kong race debut in the Vase.
The other Melbourne Cup runner in this year’s Hong Kong Vase field is $13 shot Max Dynamite who finished off the trifecta running a brave third.
A dour stayer, William Mullins’ veteran gelding also finished second to $101 roughie Prince Of Penzance in the 2015 Melbourne Cup, but he is yet to race at Sha Tin.
Visit Ladbrokes.com.au today for all the best Hong Kong Vase 2017 betting odds and offers ahead of the Sunday feature races at Sha Tin.
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