THE Hong Kong Jockey Club has issued four invitations for the Cathay Pacific International Cup, Sprint and Mile Trials to take place on 15 and 22 November.

The invitees are:

Cathay Pacific International Sprint Trial - Scenic Blast, Apache Cat

Cathay Pacific International Mile Trial – Eagle Mountain

Cathay Pacific International Mile/Cup Trial – Presvis

“We are very pleased to have attracted top class names from three major racing jurisdictions for the first Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International trials open to overseas horses,” said Mr William A Nader, the Club’s Executive Director of Racing.

“These trials were opened to improve the preparation of horses guaranteed a start in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races and it’s terrific that we have been met with such a positive response.

“Three of these horses have been to Hong Kong before and their participation in the trials will help reacquaint Hong Kong fans of their capabilities before the big day on 13 December.”

Scenic Blast, already in Hong Kong, will collect a US$1m bonus should he win the HK$12m Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint having already won series legs in the Lightning Stakes and the King’s Stand Stakes. On his latest start, the Sprinters Stakes in Japan, the Western Australian star met with severe interference and finished down the field.

Apache Cat, an eight-time Gr.1 winner and former champion sprinter in Australia, finished third in the CXHK Sprint last season and tuned up for his latest Hong Kong mission by landing Schweppes Stakes (Gr.2-1200m) at Moonee Valley at the weekend. Damien Oliver is expected to ride him in both the CX International Sprint Trial and the CXHK Sprint itself.

Eagle Mountain, meanwhile, will return to the scene of his triumph in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup last season. Mike de Kock’s champion has been off the track since that famous victory but the South African handler is keen to tackle the CX International Mile Trial to mirror Eagle Mountain’s successful return after a similarly lengthy layoff last year in the Joel Stakes (Gr.3-1600m) at Newmarket.

Finally, trainer Luca Cumani is making good on his promise to bring back Presvis, his terrific Audemars Piguet QE II Cup hero, for the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup over the same course and distance.

Presvis is unraced since his fast-finishing second in the Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji in May and has been invited to prep for December’s international meet in CX International Cup Trial. Cumani is also considering a possible prep race in the UK for Presvis and is yet to confirm his participation in the Cup Trial.



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