HONG KONG'S stars will come under fierce pressure from overseas in the two international races on April 25 as the record number of entries for both the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup and the Champions Mile includes outstanding G1 performers from every continent.

HKJC Executive Director of Racing William A Nader, expressing his delight at the depth of the possible invasion force, commented that: “This response from horsemen from around the world reflects the continuing and developing strength of racing in Asia as well as the APQEII’s status as one of the world’s major 2000m races.

"The huge number of entries for the Champions Mile is a clear indication both of the growing popularity of the Asian Mile Challenge and of the co-operation between its member jurisdictions, Australia, Dubai, Japan and Hong Kong."

Leading the contenders for the APQEII is last year’s winner Presvis, trained in England by Italian Luca Cumani, who bids to become the first APQEII winner since Japan’s Eishin Preston in 2002-3 to defend his title successfully.

But he meets glittering opposition which will include 2008 Prix du Jockey Club winner Vision D’Etat, who beat him into third place when taking the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup last December; former Brazilian star Gloria de Campeao who beat him – many thought fortunately – when they met in last year’s Singapore Airlines International Cup, and Gio Ponti, the best turf horse in America, who left Gloria de Campeao far behind when winning the Arlington Million in August.

Other major talents in the APQEII field are Red Desire, recent winner of Round 3 of the Al Maktoum Challenge in Dubai, who looks set to inherit from the recently retired Vodka the title of Japan’s best mare; the UAE’s Alexandros, who will be looking for revenge on Presvis for his defeat in the Jebel Hatta at Meydan on Dubai’s Super Thursday; New Zealand’s two best middle distance horses, Red Ruler and Vosne Romanee, and the usual powerful contingent from South Africa, this time headed by Herman Brown’s Bankable and Musir who is rated very highly indeed by Mike de Kock who won the APQEII in 2008 with Archipenko.

Arrayed against them, however, will be a home team led by Collection, who showed his star is still very much on the rise when impressive winner last time of the Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup, and the veteran but still formidable Viva Pataca, as well as those who emerge with glory from this weekend’s Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby.

A serious battle is in prospect and whoever comes out on top will at once take high position in the list of the world’s best at the classic 2000m distance.

The Champions Mile is hardly less competitive with triple Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile victor Good Ba Ba, winner in 2008, confronted by 2009 Champions Mile victor Sight Winner and 2007’s Able One, but with challengers coming from five continents.

These include: from Australia Sydney stars Rangirangdoo, Daneleigh and last year’s third Dao Dao; from Bahrain Lahaleeb, winner for Mick Channon of last year’s EP Taylor Stakes at Woodbine; from Great Britain, recent Dubai winner Cat Junior; from Japan, Laurel Guerreiro; from the UAE Rio de la Plata and Laa Rayb; from South Africa Our Giant and Imbongi, and from the USA Ferneley and Loup Breton.

The history of the race suggests the invaders will have their work cut out however, and it is an added attraction that the Hong Kong based champions of each of the last three years will be in opposition yet again.

ENTRIES FOR Audemars Piguet QE II CUP (Int'l G1) – 2000m Turf

Sunday 25 April 2010 – Sha Tin

(As of 10 March 2010)

Country/

Region

Horse Name

Age

Sex

AUS (10)

Dealer Principal (AUS)

5

g

 

Extra Zero (AUS)

3

c

 

Growl (NZ)

7

g

 

Hello Pretty (AUS)

8

g

 

Largo Lad (AUS)

5

g

 

Mentality (AUS)

6

g

 

Our Aqaleem (GB)

6

h

 

Pimpernel (AUS)

4

g

 

Road to Rock (AUS)

5

h

 

Zagreb (AUS)

5

h

BAH (1)

Lahaleeb (IRE)

4

f

FR (9)

Ashalanda (FR)

4

f

 

Capitaine Courage (IRE)

5

g

 

Chinchon (IRE)

5

h

 

Gloria De Campeao (BRZ)

6

h

 

Pallodio (IRE)

5

h

 

Soberania (GER)

4

f

 

Starlish (IRE)

4

c

 

Tassara (FR)

4

f

 

Vision d'Etat (FR)

5

h

GB (10)

Confront (GB)

5

g

 

Crowded House (GB)

4

c

 

Eastern Aria (UAE)

4

f

 

Elspeth's Boy (USA)

3

c

 

Gitano Hernando (GB)

4

c

 

Halicarnassus (IRE)

6

h

 

Lady Jane Digby (GB)

5

m

 

Presvis (GB)

6

g

 

Record Breaker (IRE)

6

g

 

Stotsfold (GB)

7

g

HK (14)

Brave Kid (AUS)

4

g

 

Collection (IRE)

5

g

 

Gallant Champion (NZ)

6

g

 

Good Ba Ba (USA)

8

g

 

Irian (GER)

4

c

 

Little Dreams (FR)

4

c

 

Mr Medici (IRE)

5

h

 

Packing Winner (NZ)

7

g

 

Roma Pegasus (AUS)

5

g

 

Super Pistachio (IRE)

4

c

 

Super Satin (NZ)

4

g

 

Thumbs Up (NZ)

5

g

 

Unique Jewellery (NZ)

5

g

 

Viva Pataca (GB)

8

g

IRE (1)

Gan Amhras (IRE)

4

c

JPN (12)

Captain Thule (JPN)

5

h

 

Gaburin (AUS)

8

h

 

Glorious Noah (JPN)

4

c

 

Golden Ticket (JPN)

4

c

 

Never Bouchon (JPN)

7

h

 

Oceania Boss (AUS)

5

h

 

Red Desire (JPN)

4

f

 

Seiun Wonder (JPN)

4

c

 

Super Hornet (JPN)

7

h

 

Tascata Sorte (JPN)

6

h

 

Victory Tetsuni (USA)

6

h

 

White Pilgrim (JPN)

5

h

KSA (6)

Amor de Pobre (CHI)

5

g

 

Deem (IRE)

5

m

 

Don Velez (ARG)

4

c

 

Joe Louis (ARG)

6

h

 

Naval Officer (USA)

4

c

 

Perfectly (ARG)

4

c

NZ (2)

Red Ruler (NZ)

5

g

 

Vosne Romanee (NZ)

7

g

SAF (6)

Bankable (IRE)

6

h

 

Golden Sword (GB)

4

c

 

Lizard's Desire (SAF)

4

g

 

Mr Brock (SAF)

6

g

 

Musir (AUS)

3

c

 

Raihana (AUS)

3

f

UAE (13)

Alexandros (GB)

5

h

 

Allybar (IRE)

4

c

 

Anmar (USA)

4

c

 

Campanologist (USA)

5

h

 

Emmrooz (GB)

5

g

 

Firebet (IRE)

4

c

 

Justenuffhumor (USA)

5

h

 

Kal Barg (GB)

5

g

 

Meeriss (IRE)

5

g

 

Oiseau De Feu (USA)

4

c

 

Poet (GB)

5

h

 

Rio De La Plata (USA)

5

h

 

Skysurfers (GB)

4

c

USA (11)

Battle of Hastings (GB)

4

g

 

Dynamic Range (USA)

4

g

 

Gio Ponti (USA)

5

h

 

High Court Drama (IRE)

5

h

 

Hyades (USA)

4

c

 

Premium Gold (USA)

5

h

 

Proudinsky (GER)

7

h

 

Red Alert Day (GB)

5

g

 

The Usual Q. T. (USA)

4

g

 

Unusual Suspect (USA)

6

h

 

Winchester (USA)

5

h

 

 

 

 

 

Entries: 95 (overseas: 81 , local: 14)

 

Group One winners: 18

 

HONG KONG JOCKEY CLUB MEDIA RELEASE

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