The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Australia’s own Hugh Bowman is set to ride the favourite Furore from the inside barrier in the 2019 Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse this Sunday.
The last of the four elite level events on the Hong Kong International Race Day, the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) is the richest race on the card offering HK$28 million in total prize money.
Currently sitting top of the Hong Kong Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au following the illness-enforced withdrawal of the one-time favourite – Silk Racing’s $6 million Dubai Turf winner Almond Eye – is Furore.
Last season’s Hong Kong Derby winner over the 2000m, Furore is prepared by former jockey Frankie Lor who was an assistant trainer for the likes of Hong Kong greats John Moore and John Size.
Also representing Lor is last year’s champion Glorious Forever.
The now five-year-old is a $17 roughie in Hong Kong Cup betting having defeated Deirdre (2nd) along with his half-brother Time Warp (3rd), who won the 2017 edition, in the trifecta of 2018.
Glorious Forever is attempting back-to-back Hong Kong Cup wins for the first time since California Memory (2011-12) but comes off two disappointing ninth places finishes ahead of Sunday’s title defence with Zac Purton aboard.
Time Warp ($16) also returns chasing a second Hong Kong Cup victory as the sole runner for the race’s most successful trainer, Anthony Cruz who chases a fourth victory following his previous wins in 2011, 2012 and 2017.
The big danger hot on the heels of Furore in Hong Kong Cup betting meanwhile is globetrotting mare Magic Wand ($3.40) in gate two for champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien.
Ryan Moore partners the in-form Galileo mare in the small eight-horse Hong Kong Cup field this weekend having been aboard for her three runs down under over the spring when she raced in her sixth country.
Magic Wand made her Australian debut when fourth to Japan’s Lys Gracieux in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) before being found out over the two miles when 10th behind Vow And Declare in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
She atoned on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival however enjoying a win over NZ star Melody Belle (2nd) and retiring Godolphin great Hartnell (3rd) in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m).
She is now out to make history as the first European-trained Hong Kong Cup winner since Ed Dunlop’s six-time Group 1 winning filly Snow Fairy (2010) nearly a decade ago.
Hong Kong or Japanese horses have won the past eight editions of the race and the sole representative for the latter in the field this year is Win Bright ($5).
An early market mover in Hong Kong Cup betting, the five-year-old stallion made his international debut in the Group 1 QEII Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin and won the event back in late April.
2019 Hong Kong Cup Field & Barrier Draw
|1||WIN BRIGHT||57kg||M Matsuoka||8||Y Hatakeyama|
|2||RISE HIGH||57kg||C Y Ho||3||C Fownes|
|3||TIME WARP||57kg||K Teetan||6||A S Cruz|
|4||GLORIOUS FOREVER||57kg||Z Purton||5||F C Lor|
|5||DARK DREAM||57kg||D Lane||7||F C Lor|
|6||FURORE||57kg||H Bowman||1||F C Lor|
|7||MAGIC WAND||55kg||R Moore||2||A P O’Brien|
|8||EDISA||54kg||S Pasquier||4||A de Royer Dupre|
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