The Hong Kong International Races meeting and its enormous purse has long attracted enterprising raiders from Ireland and the British Isles.
Big names such as Red Cadeaux and Sole Power are regulars at the December shindigs and once again find themselves towards the upper echelons of the betting for their engagements (5/1 for the Vase and 7/1 for the Sprint respectively).
However, among the less-celebrated entrants familiar to fans of racing in Britain and Ireland there are a trio who are primed to outrun their odds.
Trade Storm to win the Hong Kong Mile @ 16/1
Unlike fellow British runner and 16/1 shot Captain Cat, David Simcock’s son of Trade Fair is an experienced traveller, having spent four and five-race spells in Meydan over the past couple of campaigns.
He arrives with a Breeders Cup Mile bronze medal round his neck, having landed his maiden Group 1 in the Woodbine Mile in the previous race.
It’s form that ranks up there with anything he’s produced previously, suggesting that odds of 16/1 could be value about a horse on top of his game.
Parish Hall to win the Hong Kong Vase @ 25/1
There are few shrewder trainers around than Jim Bolger, who would scarcely countenance a trip to Sha Tin unless he seriously fancied this one’s chances.
The Hong Kong dirt could well coax a return to form from a middle distance type that won the Dewhurst, previously taken by Derby heroes Sir Percy and Dawn Approach, as a two-year-old.
Wexford handler Bolger should have a good idea of what it takes to win around this track too having readied Alexander Goldrun to take the laurels in the 2004 Hong Kong Cup.
Gordon Lord Byron to win the Hong Kong Sprint @ 10/1
Tom Hogan’s well-travelled sprinter has finished fourth in the Hong Kong Mile for the last two years and the fact that he takes in the shorter contest this year is intriguing.
A close second in his last two Group 1s over 7f and the 6f trip he’ll face at Sha Tin, his trainer gave Sky Sports an upbeat bulletin as to the gelding’s welfare five days ago, saying:
“He’s been in great form since his last run at Ascot, and we’ve taken him to Dundalk, where he loves the surface. His work there last Friday evening was first class – absolutely tip-top.”
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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