THE Hong Kong Jockey Club grabs the global spotlight this weekend with International Day featuring four Group 1 races and the biggest racing names from around the world.
Whether it’s called the Turf World Championship, The Greatest Show On Turf or the United Nations of Racing, it all adds up to one remarkable day's racing. The world’s three highest-rated horses American Pharoah (133), Golden Horn (130) and Treve (126) might not be there but the Sha Tin meeting is full of class and international depth.
Local champion Able Friend (125) heads a great list of 23 Hong Kong-trained gallopers trying to withstand the challenge from 33 international raiders representing eight countries across four continents. It’s as close as racing gets to a World Cup.
The HKJC describes it as a “ week-long party, racing festival and supremacy decider.” Interesting description.
“The Turf World Championships offer the racing experience of a lifetime, as well as the chance to raise your horse’s profile not just in the increasingly significant Asian racing sector but worldwide,” it says.
And if that’s the accepted case, Australia has been poor and an underachiever in Hong Kong. Since the turn of the century, we can only boast Falvelon (2000/01) as an Aussie winner of the Sprint - from a country that produces the world’s best sprinters.
Yes, Sunline won the Mile in 2000 in that epic battle wit...