The Longines Hong Kong International Races will be held on 9 December at Sha Tin Racecourse. To ensure customers are well informed for this international event, The Hong Kong Jockey Club has produced a Form Guide for free distribution.
Starting from Sunday, 2 December, the free Form Guide will be available at all Off-Course Betting Branches and the information counters at the two racecourses, while stocks last.
The Form Guide provides racing fans with detailed form information and analysis including results from the horses’ previous 10 starts, international ratings, speed diagram, career summary information and profiles of Trainers and Jockeys.
The 2018 Hong Kong International Races Form Guide is available for download here.
Elsworth Happy to Be Back in Hong Kong With Sir Dancealot
Veteran Newmarket handler David Elsworth is looking forward to a return to Hong Kong to saddle Sir Dancealot in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin, a track he visited as long ago as 1990, when he sent Landyap to finish fourth in the Hong Kong Cup.
Elsworth is nearing his 79th birthday but his enthusiasm for training remains undimmed in the autumn of a hugely successful career that has seen him succeed at the sport’s highest reaches with both Jumps and Flat racers.
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He was champion British jumps trainer in the 1987/88 season when he had a Grand National winner, Rhyme ‘N’ Reason, to his credit. In addition, he earned a place in British racing history as trainer of legendary steeplechaser Desert Orchid.
Sir Dancealot has been ultra-consistent in 2018 – winning G3 and G2 prizes at Newmarket, Goodwood and Newbury – while posing an interesting question so far as the Hong Kong International Races is concerned.
All those wins were at seven furlongs (1400m), which the trainer concedes is probably Sir Dancealot’s optimum distance. Thus the dilemma was whether to tackle the Sprint or the Hong Kong Mile.
“We’d been thinking about the Hong Kong races for a while, but there isn’t a race at seven furlongs,” Elsworth said. “My first thought was to stretch him out for the Mile, but I discussed things with his jockey Gerald Mosse.
Mirage Dancer Seeks More Juddmonte Glory in Longines Hong Kong Vase
Sir Michael Stoute’s Mirage Dancer will bid to continue Khalid Abdullah’s golden end to 2018 by carrying his owner’s famous green, pink and white silks to victory in the HK$20m G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m) at Sha Tin on 9 December.
Enable wore those famous colours for her second G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe win at Longchamp for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori on the first Sunday in October.
Enable and the Stoute-trained Expert Eye tasted Breeders’ Cup glory under Abdullah’s Juddmonte banner in the Turf and the Mile at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in November and Mirage Dancer bids to continue this spectacular run of G1 success at Sha Tin on what will be his first international venture.
Andre Fabre’s Flintshire scored for Abdullah in the 2014 Vase and Mirage Dancer, an impeccably-bred son of the mighty Frankel, has given all the signs of being the sort of improving four-year-old that Stoute has excelled with over the years.
“This will be Mirage Dancer’s first start in a Group 1 race, but his form stands up well enough and we are looking forward to the challenge of running him in Hong Kong,” Abdullah’s racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said.
Mirage Dancer’s form bears out that assertion. A close second in the G2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket reads well given that the winner Best Solution went on to land the G1 Caulfield Cup.
A commanding success in a Goodwood G3 was gained at the expense of fellow Vase contestant Red Verdon, while Mirage Dancer ran right up to form under a penalty on testing ground at Newbury on his latest start when beaten narrowly by the very smart three-year-old Young Rascal.