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The bookmakers are having a hard time separating the chances of the best gallopers in Sunday’s Hong Kong Mile 2016 field with three currently installed as equal favourites in betting for the Sha Tin feature.
Four classic Hong Kong International Races take place on December 11 including the HK$23 million (AUD$4m) Longines Hong Kong Mile (1600m) that has attracted a 14 starter field.
Half of the milers in the mix are under $10 in the latest Hong Kong Mile odds at Ladbrokes.com.au including three at $6 for the win: Able Friend, Beauty Only and Satono Aladdin.
The Hong Kong Mile is the second richest race on the program after the Hong Kong Cup and back looking to improve on his second in the event last year is the John Moore-trained Able Friend.
He was defeated by Japanese superstar Maurice who lines-up in the HK Cup over 2000m on Sunday.
A seven-year-old son of Shamardal, Able Friend took out the 2014 edition of the HK Mile in stunning fashion and a host of subsequent Group 1 races in Hong Kong to be known as one of the best milers in the world.
The veteran has suffered a number of injuries and setbacks in recent seasons and comes into Sunday’s race on the back of just one start in 2016 when fourth in the Group 2 Jockey Club Sprint (1200m) last time out.
Fellow local Beauty Only is prepared by Tony Cruz and after enjoying a win in last year’s Hong Kong Classic Mile hasn’t done much wrong since.
A son of Holy Roman Emperor, the five-year-old won the Jockey Club Mile last time out in a nice effort in the traditional lead-up to Sunday’s tougher test and has Zac Purton booked for the ride.
Japan’s Satono Aladdin is the other horse the bookies are taking no chances with in the 1600m classic.
Prepared by Yasutoshi Ikee, the stallion boasts an ultra-consistent record at home in Japan and has strong form around the aforementioned Maurice.
He contested last year’s Hong Kong Cup and didn’t see out the 2000m when well-beaten by A Shin Hikari.
Dropping back to around a mile this season has seen him return to his best and he’s a livewire chance at the distance this weekend.
The next best in Hong Kong Mile markets are the John Size-trained five-year-old Sun Jewellery ($7) who is Australian-bred and Japanese galloper Neorealism ($7.50).
Sun Jewellery should be peaking in this race after being crowned Hong Kong’s Champion Miler last season.
This is his pet distance and his third in the Jockey Club Mile in the lead-up was brave with improvement to come.
Neorealism has winning form in a Group 2 back home over Maurice over 2000m and is out to prove he’s just as effective at 1600m.
Was unlucky last time out at home in the Group 1 Milers Championship and is out to atone here.
Other top chances include John Moore’s four-year-old stallion Helene Paragon ($9.50) who is expected to run on late from the back with Hugh Bowman in the saddle and six-year-old Logotype ($9.50) who will appreciate getting back to a mile on the back of a fifth to Maurice in the Tenno Sho at home in Japan.
Head to our preferred online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au now for the complete Hong Kong Mile 2016 odds and betting options ahead of Sunday’s showdown.
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