THE eyes of the racing world will focus on Sha Tin on 11 December when some of the world’s finest thoroughbreds converge on Hong Kong’s premier racecourse for the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races 2011.

The four Group 1 races, now with an increase in prize money to HK$20 million for the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile to bring it to parity with the CXHK Cup, boast total purses of HK$68 million (US$8.7 million). Twenty six G1 winners will contest the four championship events, and they represent eleven countries on four continents.

“The wide-reaching response from many of the world’s leading horsemen provides visible support for the positioning of this great race day as the Turf World Championships,” said Hong Kong Jockey Club Executive Director of Racing, William A Nader.

“The quality of our selected runners, which include G1 winners in every major racing jurisdiction, gives a very clear indication of the high esteem in which the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races are now held.

“Each of the four Group 1 races offers top competition from across the globe and brilliant box-office attractions such as Snow Fairy and Excelebration from England, Cirrus des Aigles and Sahpresa from France, Rocket Man from Singapore, Curren Chan from Japan, Regally Ready from America, and the horses responsible for the tightest ever finish in Australia’s Melbourne Cup - Dunaden and Red Cadeaux, plus horses coming on from Sunday’s Japan Cup.

“These elite overseas runners will be crossing swords with Hong Kong’s top horses. Our home runners will have to be at their best to compete with opposition of this calibre, but I have every confidence in their ability to do so successfully. The Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races is the main event on Hong Kong’s sporting calendar, one in which the entire racing world joins us in looking forward to another great international meeting on the second Sunday of December,” said Mr Nader.

Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase

G1 – 2400m –HK $14m – (US $1.797m)

Fourteen of the last 17 editions of the Vase have been won by horses representing France or Great Britain. Hong Kong horses will be looking to reclaim the stayers’ crown they haven’t held since Indigenous in 1998. This year’s renewal provides us with the opportunity to witness a rematch of the first two home in the Melbourne Cup as well as the possibility of one between the second and third in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Selections (14)

JAKKALBERRY

Formerly Italian-trained winner of G1 Gran Premio di Milano in 2010 and fifth in CXHK Vase last year.

SILVER POND

French-trained colt, winner in June of G2 Grand Prix de Chantilly and also second to Cirrus des Aigles in the G2 Grand Prix de Deauville in August.

CAMPANOLOGIST

Godolphin-trained UAE representative, winner on last two outings of successive G1s, the Preis von Europa at Cologne (Germany) on 25 September and the Gran Premio del Jockey Club Italiano at San Siro (Italy) on 16 October.

DUNADEN

French-trained winner of 151st G1 Melbourne Cup this November following victory in G3 Geelong Cup.

MIGHTY HIGH

Hong Kong’s reigning Champion Stayer and winner this year of HKG1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup.

MR MEDICI

2009/10 Hong Kong Champion Stayer, winner of 2010 HKG1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup.

THUMBS UP

HKG1 Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Classic Mile winner in 2009 and G2 CX Jockey Club Cup winner this season.

RED CADEAUX

UK-trained runner-up by the narrowest of margins in the 151st Melbourne Cup this November. Most recent victory came in G3 Curragh Cup in June.

TRAILBLAZER

Talented Japanese four-year-old, winner last time out of G2 Copa Republica Argentina at Tokyo.

SNOW FAIRY

A five-time G1 winning racemare, winner in 2010 of G1 Oaks at Epsom, G1 Irish Oaks, G1 Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup at Kyoto and the CXHK Cup in 2010. This year third in Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe before repeat win in Kyoto race.

PERFECT SHIRL

Canadian-trained filly, winner last time out of G1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Churchill Downs, USA on 4 November.

SARAH LYNX

French-trained filly, winner last time out of the G1 Canadian International at Woodbine on 16 October by four lengths from last year’s winner of the race.

VADAMAR

French-trained three-year-old who last time out won G2 Prix du Conseil de Paris at Longchamp on 16 October.

SHARETA

Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe runner-up in October who contests the Japan Cup this week. One of the best of a current global crop of remarkable racemares.

Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint

G1 – 1200m- HK $14m (US $1.797m)

Last year Hong Kong’s long monopoly of this event was finally broken by South Africa’s J J The Jet Plane and Singapore’s Rocket Man, who quinella-ed the 2010 Sprint. Can the new crop of Hong Kong Sprinters restore home team’s supremacy against equally formidable overseas opposition in 2011?

Selections (14)

ROCKET MAN

Singapore champion and currently the world’s second highest rated sprinter. Winner of G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen and KrisFlyer International Sprint this year.

SACRED KINGDOM

Veteran Hong Kong sprinting star who was the highest rated or joint highest rated turf sprinter in the world for three years between 2007 and 2010. Twice winner of this race in 2007 and 2009 and ran a close third last year.

BATED BREATH

Improving four-year-old narrowly beaten twice at G1 level by European champion sprinter Dream Ahead in Sprint Cup at Haydock and by Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Regally Ready in Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine.

LUCKY NINE

2011 Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Classic Mile winner who failed narrowly to win the G2 Centaur Stakes before unlucky fifth in G1 Sprinters Stakes in Japan.

REGALLY READY

America’s best turf sprinter. Beat Bated Breath in G1 at Woodbine in October before taking G2 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on 5 November.

SOCIETY ROCK

UK sprinter, G1 Golden Jubilee Stakes winner at Royal Ascot 2011 after narrow defeat in same race last year.

LITTLE BRIDGE

Brilliant sprinter who has returned to shorter distances better than ever after an attempt to get the trip in the HKG1 Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby. Beat Entrapment in G2 CX Jockey Club Sprint on 20 November.

ENTRAPMENT

Beat Sacred Kingdom on comeback after long break from racing, then lost very little in defeat in HKG2 Premier Bowl before second to Little Bridge in G2 CX Jockey Club Sprint.

SOLE POWER

Irish-trained four-year-old whose finest moment came when beating Starspangledbanner in G1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York in August 2010. Very unlucky third in G1 Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp in October.

GREEN BIRDIE

2010 KrisFlyer International Sprint winner, beating Rocket Man, now returned from Japan where he performed respectably in both G2 Centaur and G1 Sprinters Stakes.

ADMIRATION

Improving young sprinter. Third to Little Bridge and Entrapment last time out in G2 CX Jockey Club Sprint.

PAS DE TROIS

Japanese four-year-old who made most of the running when second to Curren Chan in G1 Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama in October.

JOY AND FUN

Gallant veteran who recovered from injury in last year’s Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot to register an impressive victory over Little Bridge in the HKSAR Chief Executive’s Cup on 11 September.

CURREN CHAN

Japanese top sprinting filly, winner last time out of the G1 Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama.

Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile

G1 – 1600m- HK$20m (US$2.567m)

Hong Kong has won this race for five consecutive years, and seven of the last 10 years. This year, however, with prize money raised to parity on HK$20m with the

CXHK Cup itself, local stars face an exceptional group of milers, particularly from Europe, with Excelebration, bringing “Frankel form” with him, and New Zealand, whose Jimmy Choux is already a five-time winner at the highest level.

Selections (14)

CITYSCAPE

Consistent UK Group performer, placed in 12 of 15 starts, with five victories that include the G3 Prix Perth at Saint Cloud last time out.

JIMMY CHOUX

New Zealand-trained four-year-old, winner of five G1s, most recently Spring Classic at Hastings, second in 2011 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley in his penultimate start in October.

RAJSAMAN

French-trained regular at G1 level, dead-heated fourth in this race a year ago. Last time out won G2 Prix Daniel Wildenstein at Longchamp.

BEAUTY FLASH

Hong Kong’s reigning Champion Miler and defending champion of this race, who has accumulated four G1 victories in HK.

XTENSION

G1 BMW Champions Mile winner in April. Close second in HKG2 Sha Tin Trophy before fifth in G2 CX Jockey Club Mile.

ABLE ONE

Magnificent veteran miler who has won G1 Champions Mile twice in 2007 and 2010.

FLYING BLUE

Four times a winner from ten starts in Hong Kong showed serious signs of form revival this season when third to Destined For Glory and Ambitious Dragon in G2 CX Jockey Club Mile on 20 November.

DESTINED FOR GLORY

Improving Irish import to Hong Kong who defeated Ambitious Dragon when short head winner of G2 CX Jockey Club Mile on 20 November.

FAIR TRADE

Winner two seasons ago after arriving in Hong Kong unbeaten, showed first glimpse of form when fourth last time in CX Jockey Club Mile.

SICHUAN SUCCESS

Six-time winner in HK, most recently of HKG3 Prince Jewellery & Watch Premier Cup on 19 June.

EXCELEBRATION

UK-trained three-year-old winner of G1 Prix du Moulin at Longchamp on 11 September before second to Frankel in G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on 15 October.

DUBAWI GOLD

UK-trained three-year-old, second to Frankel in G1 2000 Guineas in April, since then has won G2 Celebration Mile at Goodwood in August before fourth to Frankel and Excelebration at Ascot 15 October.

SAHPRESA

Exceptionally consistent French-trained mare who has won 8 and been placed in 9 of her 21 starts. Three-time winner of G1 Sun Chariot Stakes in UK.

APAPANE

Winner of 2010 Japanese Filly Triple Crown who beat Buena Vista in the G1 Victoria Mile at Tokyo in May this year.

Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup

G1 – 2000m – HK$20m (US$2.567m)

The CXHK Cup is one of the richest races run anywhere over the classic distance of 2000m and the most prestigious event in Hong Kong racing. It has been won in the last decade by horses from seven countries and this year’s renewal could offer a mouth-watering clash between British Champion Stakes winner Cirrus des Aigles, Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup winner California Memory and Hong Kong’s reigning Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon.

Selections (12)

CIRRUS DES AIGLES

Seventh in CXHK Cup 2010. Has shown great improvement this year and reached his peak when beating So You Think in G1 British Champion Stakes in October.

AMBITIOUS DRAGON

Reigning HK Horse of the Year. Achieved a record-equalling seven victories last season including both HKG1 Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby and the G1 Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup.

BYWORD

Winner of G1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot 2010 who beat Cirrus des Aigles in G2 Prix Dollar at the Arc meeting in October.

VICTOIRE PISA

G1 Dubai World Cup winner in March who defeated Buena Vista in G1 Arima Kinen last year.

DURBAN THUNDER

German-trained five-year-old, winner of G1 Grosser Dallmayr Preis-Bayerisches Zuchtrennen at Munich on 31 July.

IRIAN

Beaten only a neck by Snow Fairy in this race last year. Finished a close third to Thumbs Up in G2 CX Jockey Club Cup.

CALIFORNIA MEMORY

Brilliant last-to-first winner of 2011 HKG1 Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup and again this season of HKG2 Sha Tin Trophy. Very unlucky when denied clear run in G2 CX Jockey Club Cup.

ZAZOU

German-trained four-year-old winner last time out of G1 Premio Roma at Capannelle, Italy.

RANSOM NOTE

UK-trained winner of 7 from 18 whose most recent victory was in the G2 Joel Stakes at Newmarket.

KING DANCER

Winner of 2010 HKG2 MBHK Derby Trial who finished second to California Memory in this year’s HKG1 Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup.

PURE CHAMPION

Classy Irish import who showed his talent in Hong Kong when second to Thumbs Up in G2 CX Jockey Club Cup on 20 November.

JACOBEE

Normally super-reliable four-year-old who had rare off-day in G2 CX Jockey Club Cup following victory in the HKG3 Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse on 16 October.


HONG KONG JOCKEY CLUB MEDIA RELEASE

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