2022 Hong Kong International Races Odds & Preview

The Longines 2022 Hong Kong International Races take center stage in weekend horse racing, with competition from around the globe lining up to challenge the strong local contingent in four Group 1 races at Sha Tin Racecourse.

Hong Kong Vase

Grade 1 – Purse $2,800,000 – 1 mile 4 furlongs – Turf – 3-Year-Old and Up

Sunday sees the 29th running of the Hong Kong Vase, and Sha Tin racecourse is likely to welcome crowds in excess of X thousand.

Two out of the last three runnings have been won by the aptly named Glory Vase, and last year’s winner is back to try and win this for the third time and become the only horse to do so.

Glory Vase is the highest official rated horse here off 123 and it is no surprise to see him the favorite at on the morning line odds. He is coming back from a long layoff after finishing 8th of 15 in The Dubai Sheema Classic back in March, so it will be interesting to see if he will be fit enough for this.

Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien has two runners here, the globe-trotting Broome and the three-year-old Stone Age. It is the latter who looks to hold the best chance of those two after finishing an excellent second in the Breeders Cup Turf in November and Ryan Moore has chosen this one over his barn buddy.

We also have another European raider in Bubble Gift from France, but this one really looks up against it with a top rating of 108 and he was well behind Broome in The Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe in October.

We have two other French runners here in Mendocino and Botanik but their form leaves them short of the class needed to win a race like this.

The best chance of a local winner looks to be Senor Toba who has been running consistently at Sha Tin and could be one to hit the board at a fair price.

As well as the favorite, Japan also has Win Marylin who was second in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Hanshin in November, and she is a possible, getting a 4lb fillies allowance.

Hong Kong Vase Odds & Betting Picks

Win MarilynDamian Lane+400
Stone AgeRyan Moore+200
Senor TobaVincent C Y Ho+750
PanfieldKaris Teetan+2500
MendocinoRene Piechulek+1800
Glory VaseJoao Moreira+160
ButterfieldSilvestre De Sousa+5000
Bubble GiftChristophe Lemaire+3300
BroomeYutaka Take+1800
BotanikWilliam Buick+1000

Japan has a great record in the race and the favorite Glory Vase is sure to put up a strong effort going for his third win in the race, but there has to be a slight doubt about his fitness and he may have to settle for a place.

The selection has to be STONE AGE for Aiden O’Brien and Ryan Moore. He has improved all season and with a fitness edge and his excellent recent run in the Breeders Cup, he looks the value against the favorite.

Of the others, then Mendocino could surprise a few people at big odds after an unlucky run last time out.

Hong Kong Sprint

Grade 1 – Purse $3,175,000 – 6 furlongs – Turf – 3-Year-Old and Up

The first running of the sprint was in 1999 so this will be the 24th renewal of the race, and it always brings together some of the world’s best sprinters, and this year is no different. Last year’s winner Sky Field is back to defend his crown and aims to become the seventh duel winner of this race.

14 runners go to post for this highly competitive sprint and we have to start with last year’s winner Sky Field who comes here after a disappointing run last time when beaten more than 3 lengths by another of today’s rivals Lucky Sweynesse.

However, both of those rivals were outpointed by Wellington in their previous race and at today’s weights, they will both find it tough to turn that form around with the Ryan Moore-ridden gelding even though he himself only finished sixth last time.

Gendarme won the Grade 1 Sprinters Stakes last time out in Japan, but his overall form is inconsistent and he is coming up against real high-class opponents here.

Of the other Japanese runners, the six-year-old Naran Huleg on morning line odds, looks a potentially big price having been in the first three in six of his last seven starts, including winning a Grade 1 at Chukyo in March and finishing a close third behind Gendarme last time.

Australia is known for producing top-class sprinters and Lim’s Kosciuszko who has won 11 from 14 races has to be on anyone’s radar looking for a potentially big price upset.

The final one which deserves a mention is Resistencia, another Japanese raider who finished second in this race last year when beaten just ¾ of a length. She has been running over a mile recently but her best form is clearly over this six-furlong distance.

Hong Kong Sprint Odds & Betting Predictions

WellingtonRyan Moore+120
Super WealthyVincent C Y Ho+2200
StrongerHugh Bowman+2500
Sky FieldBlake Shinn+3000
Sight SuccessChristophe Lemaire+2000
ResistenciaJoao Moreira+800
Naran HulegKyosuke Maruta+800
Meikei YellJames McDonald+700
Lucky SweynesseZac Purton+250
Lim’s KosciuszkoDanny Beasley+3300
GendarmeDamian Lane+600
Duke WaiHarry Bentley+2500
Courier WonderLuke Currie+3500
Cordyceps SixSilvestre De Sousa+1500

It is a highly competitive race and Naran Huleg looks to have a great chance to hit the board here after a consistent run of placed efforts.

The main selection though has to go to WELLINGTON who although finishing behind some of these last time, has a 5lb pull in the weights and should prove very tough to beat here.

For a bit of value on the boards and at big odds, then Lim’s Kosciuszko looks to hold every chance, and Australian sprinters are always to be feared, and Resistencia is well worth including in exacta and trifecta box bets.

Hong Kong Mile

Grade 1 – Purse $3,850,000 – 1 mile – Turf – 3-Year-Old and Up

This year sees the 32nd running of the Hong Kong Mile and just like the other championship races on the card, we have another winner coming back to defend his crown, and that horse is Golden Sixty who is trying to win this for the third year in succession.

Jockey Zac Purton is one of only two jockeys to ride the winner of this race three times and he rides the well-fancied California Spangle.

We have a field of fourteen runners here and we have to start with Golden Sixty who is a very short price favorite to bring up the hat-trick in this race and win his fourteenth race in sixteen starts. He comes here in great form having won his last three races and it will be a shock if he is beaten. However, he was beaten by another of today’s rivals, Waikuku earlier this year, so he is not bulletproof.

Waikuku finished three lengths behind Golden Sixty and California Spangle last time, but at 22/1, that could be great value and he is definitely worth including in exotics.

Schnell Meister has been consistent in a series of Grade 1 races in Japan but may just fall short here in the class department.

Of the other Japanese raiders, we could see a good run from the three-year-old Danon Scorpion who won a Grade 1 back in May, while leading Australian trainer Annabel Neasham brings over Laws Of Indices, who ran very well at Royal Ascot in 2021 when fifth in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup and has since won at Deauville and has a couple of recent placed efforts back in Australia.

Hong Kong Mile Odds & Betting Picks

Golden SixtyC Y Ho-200
California SpangleZac Purton+300
Schnell MeisterChristophe Lemaire+850
WaikukuSilvestre De Sousa+2000
Beauty JoyHugh Bowman+2500
Laws Of IndicesJames McDonald+3000
More Than ThisK C Leung+5000
Excellent ProposalAntoine Hamelin+7500
Danon ScorpionWilliam Buick+1500
Salios Scratched

California Spangle looks to be the main threat to the favorite, but maybe a place is all that one can hope for having been soundly held by the favorite the last two times they have met.

It is impossible to keep Golden Sixty out of the frame and although he is the most likely winner, his price of 4/7 is very short and not really attractive.

Therefore the selection is the big longshot WAIKUKU who has already got a verdict over Golden Sixty and could provide the biggest upset of the meeting.

Laws Of Indices may well be worth including in your exotics bets.

Hong Kong Cup

Grade 1 – Purse $4,360,000 – 1 mile 2 furlongs – Turf – 3-Year-Old and Up

The biggest race of the meeting with over $4,000,000 in prize money up for grabs and it is no surprise to see entries from Hong Kong, Japan, and a sole representative from Ireland for master trainer Aiden O’Brien.

The Hong Kong Cup has a longer history than most of this events races, having started in 1988. There has only ever been one duel winner of the race, but it is a race targeted by Japanese trainers and they have won the last three runnings.

It’s the big race of the day with an elite field of 12 runners set to face the starter here and the favorite is the locally trained Romantic Warrior who comes here off the back of three consecutive victories and a record of eight wins from nine races.

His biggest rivals look to be coming from Japan where Danon The Kid and Panthalassa have both been running well.

Danon The Kid has finished placed in his last three Graded Stakes runs including when runner up last time in the Grade 1 Mile Championship, while Panthalassa won the Group 1 Dubai Turf in March and has since run second in a Grade 1 in October back in Japan.

Of the bigger-priced runners, then Tourbillon Diamond is worth looking at. He was just a length and a quarter behind the favorite last time and closed strongly to the line. He is worse off at the weights, so it is a tough assignment, but he could grab a share of this huge purse.

Of real interest is Geoglyph who won the Japanese 2000 Guineas before finding the mile and a half too far in the Japanese Derby. He looks to have been laid out for this with a recent run for fitness sure to have brought him along, and leading British rider William Buick takes the ride.

Hong Kong Cup Odds & Betting Predictions

Ka Ying StarLuke Ferraris+5000
Russian EmperorBlake Shinn+2500
Romantic WarriorJames McDonald+150
PanthalassaYutaka Yoshida+400
Order Of AustraliaRyan Moore+2000
Money CatcherSilvestre De Sousa+4000
Lei PapaleJoao Moreira+1000
Jack D’OrYutaka Take+300
Savvy NineKaris Teetan+10000
GeoglyphWilliam Buick+1500
Tourbillon DiamondHugh Bowman+2000
Danon The KidYuichi Kitamura+750

Japan has a strong team in this and the well-fancied Panthlassa is fancied to reach the frame after his recent second in Grade 1 company back in October.

Romantic Warrior will be the main betting angle here for the locals, but he could get a shock and the main selection is GEOGLYPH who has shown plenty of speed and should find this mile-and-a-quarter distance ideal.

Tourbillon Diamond should not be underestimated and could be a nice price for longshot bettors.

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