THE fields for the Audemars Piguet QE II Cup and the Champions Mile at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on Sunday, April 25, reflect the established prestige of both events and their growing stature on the international racing calendar.

“I’m delighted at the high quality of the selected runners for both events,” said William A. Nader, Executive Director of Racing for the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

“Seasoned Group 1 stars from six countries in four continents will be taking part in these two great races. It’s indicative of Hong Kong racing’s continuing drawing power that the reigning APQEII winner Presvis will be back to defend his crown, and that the narrowest of runners up in the Dubai World Cup will be here to take him on.

“In addition, horses who have been involved in the finishes of both the first two legs of the Asian Mile Challenge will be running at Sha Tin on 25 April - and it is hardly surprising that horses of this caliber have been attracted as they will be fighting it out for prize money totalling HK$26 million.

“Thanks to this season’s extended simulcast coverage of overseas races, Hong Kong racing fans will already be familiar with almost every one of the incoming challengers and will have had the opportunity to see their recent performances. This familiarity is certain to increase public anticipation, and add further spice to the confrontation with Hong Kong’s own leading racehorses.

“Audemars Piguet have been magnificent supporters of Hong Kong racing – this is the twelfth year of their sponsorship - and the fame of these unsurpassed Swiss watchmakers has been deservedly reflected back by the fame of the HKJC’s springtime flagship event, now synonymous with their name.”

RATINGS ORDER FOR THE AUDEMARS PIQUET QEII CUP

COLLECTION: Last year’s HKG1 Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby winner and a confirmed 2000m specialist. Ran second in 2009 G1 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup before impressive winner of HKG1 Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup in February.

PRESVIS: Smooth winner of this race last year, then unlucky second in G1 Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji last May and third in 2009 G1 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup. Good win in G2 Jebel Hatta at Meydan on 4 March but got no run in G1 Dubai Duty Free on Dubai World Cup night.

VIVA PATACA: Still formidable veteran whose finest hours came when winning G1 Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup in 2007 and taking second in G1 Dubai Sheema Classic in 2008. Proved he was no back number when finishing fast into third in Chairman’s Trophy (1600m, HKG2) on 4 April.

LIZARD’S DESIRE: Runner-up in G2 Gold Circle Derby in native South Africa before twice a winner for Mike De Kock at Dubai Carnival. Showed he was still improving last time when going down to the narrowest of defeats in G1 Dubai World Cup.

CHINCHON: Consistent performer at Group level in France who finished three lengths fourth to Gio Ponti in G1 Man O’War at Belmont last summer. Close fourth in last year’s G1 APQEII Cup and has won his last two in France at G3 level.

MR MEDICI: Versatile performer effective at all distances from 1400m to 2400m. Good win in Premier Plate (1800m, HK G3) last month, and beaten only a neck by Able One in HKG2 Chairman’s Trophy on 4 April.

NEVER BOUCHON: Three times G2 winner in Japan who has a victory over G1 Singapore Airlines International Cup winner Shadowgate to his credit.

PACKING WINNER: Beat Viva Pataca in 2008 HKG1 Citi Champions and Chater Cup, most recent victory came in the Mission Hills Sha Tin Trophy (1600m, HKG3) this season.

STARLISH: French trained challenger who ran sixth in 2009 G1 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup. Second last time out to Chinchon in G3 Prix Exbury at St.Cloud on 20 March.

RED RULER: New Zealander whose best recent performance was his second to Vosne Romanee in G1 Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie in December 2009.

SUPER SATIN: Winner of five races this season, starting in Class 3 and culminating in victory in 2010 HKG1 Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby over the 2000m that may turn out to be one of his best trips.

SUPER PISTACHIO: Winner of G2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster before imported to Hong Kong. Improving four-year-old who was a head runner-up in 2010 HKG1 Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby on 14 March.

UNIQUE JEWELLERY: Winner of 2009 HKG2 Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby Trial, split Collection and Mr Medici in HKG2 Cathay Pacific International Cup Trial in November 2009. Three and a quarter lengths behind Able One in HKG2 Chairman’s Trophy on 4 April.

RATINGS ORDER FOR THE CHAMPIONS MILE

GOOD BA BA: The only horse ever to have won G1 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile three times in a row. 2008 G1 Champions Mile winner and fourth in 2009 edition. Was not suited by the race tempo when eighth of sixteen in G1 Dubai Duty Free last month.

EGYPTIAN RA: Runner up in 2009 G1 Champions Mile and fourth in G1 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile. Most recent victory came in HKG3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup (1400m), fourth last time out in HKG1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m).

FELLOWSHIP: Consistent sprinter/miler, who won his first HKG1 event in Stewards’ Cup (1600m) before short head defeat by Happy Zero in HKG1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup on 14 March.

SIGHT WINNER: Winner of G1 Champions Mile in 2009. Beaten three and three quarter lengths by Good Ba Ba in 2009 G1 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile and ran sixth in the HKG2 Chairman’s Trophy to Able One on 4 April.

ABLE ONE: Winner of G1 Champions Mile in 2007, now fully recovered from a string of injuries, who broke recent drought when victorious last Sunday in the HKG2 Chairman’s Trophy.

BEAUTY FLASH: Recorded six wins out of ten starts in his Hong Kong career including 2010 HKG1 Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Classic Mile. Fourth in the 2010 HKG1 Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby on 14 March.

DAO DAO: Australian challenger, third in last year’s G1 Champions Mile. Second in G1 Rokk Ebony Futurity Stakes (first leg of Asian Mile Challenge) at Caulfield and most recently again runner-up in G1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill.

THUMBS UP: Winner of 2009 HKG1 Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Classic Mile. Ran second and just beaten a head by Fellowship in HKG1 Stewards’ Cup in January before finishing another second to Collection in HKG1 Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup in February.

CAT JUNIOR: British challenger who won well on Tapeta in G3 Burj Nahaar (1600m) on Super Thursday. Only three and three quarter lengths behind 2000 Guineas winner Henrythenavigator in 2008 St James’s Palace Stakes (1600m, G1) at Ascot.

IMBONGI: Sixth in 2009 G1 Champions Mile, third to Al Shemali and Bankable in G1 Dubai Duty Free after winning G2 Zabeel Mile at Meydan on 5 March.

SUNNY KING: Carried top weight to victory in Class1 race over 1400m in January, then second to Sacred Kingdom in Chairman’s Sprint Prize (HKG1, 1200m) before third to Happy Zero and Fellowship in Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (HKG1, 1400m) 14 March.

FAIR TRADE: Won the Chinese New Year Cup from Express Win in February, ran well in 2010 HKG1 Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby. Finished close up fourth in HKG2 Chairman’s Trophy on Sunday.

BRAVE KID: Winner of six races already this season now bidding to become the first in Hong Kong racing history to score seven times in a season after third in the 2010 HKG1 Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby. Beaten two and three quarter lengths when seventh in HKG2 Chairman’s Trophy.

HONG KONG JOCKEY CLUB MEDIA RELEASE


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