Chairman’s Sprint Prize, Champions Mile & QE II Cup Odds

The Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong offers three G1 races on Sunday, while the biggest local stars are set to show up. Prolific sprinters Wellington & Lucky Sweynesse will fight for the win in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize; Golden Sixty then attempts to win the Champions Mile for the third time, and Romantic Warrior will face off Danon The Kid in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup.

Chairman’s Sprint Prize

Grade 1 – Purse $2,548,000 – 1200 meters (6 furlongs) – Turf – 4-Year-Olds and Up

A small but elite field of eight goes to post for The Chairman’s Sprint Prize, and without a doubt, the one all eyes will be on will be the prolific Lucky Sweynesse who was a winner last time when taking the Grade 2 Sprint Cup from his arch-rival Wellington who reopposes here.

Lucky Sweynesse has won five of his seven attempts at graded stakes level and that includes each of the last four races. But it is important to note that Wellington has won the Chairman’s Sprint for the last two seasons and he will have been prepared 100% to try and bring up the hat trick

In the Sprint Cup, Master Eight was the pacesetter and he was beaten fair and square by the big two and will struggle to hit the board in this tougher spot.

One that has been running well is Duke Wai who ran a superb race to finish fifth in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan in March. His run style could be well-suited here and he is sure to be a strong closer once again.

Another interesting runner here is Flaming Rib who was well behind Duke Wai in the Al Quoz Sprint and this seems a long way for British trainer Hugo Palmer to bring his horse just for a day at the races. He has some solid back form but will need to take a step forward on recent poor efforts.

Sight Success was just ahead of Duke Wai last time and had previously run well to finish third in The Centenary Sprint Cup behind both Lucky Sweynesse and Wellington. He won the Grade 3 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy Handicap prior to those two runs, but that leaves him a little short at this top level.

Aguri from Japan deserves a second look here. He won a Grade 3 two-back before finishing seventh in the Grade 1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen, One of Japan’s richest sprint races. He met trouble late on and could be an interesting longshot here, and could possibly attempt to go gate to wire.

Chairman’s Sprint Prize Odds & Betting Pick

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
Lucky SweynesseZac Purton-275
Wellington Alexis Badel+600
Sight SuccessJames McDonald+1200
Courier WonderHugh Bowman+3300
Duke WaiJerry Chau+3300
Flaming Rib Tom Marquand+2500
AguriCristian Demuro+1000
Master EightJoao Moreira+5000

Champions Mile

Grade 1 – Purse $2,548,000 – 1600 meters (1 mile) – Turf – 4-Year-Olds and Up

Can California Spangle go gate to wire and get his revenge on Golden Sixty in what looks to be a highly tactical affair?

It’s another race where the focus is firmly set on two horses and two world-class milers in Golden Sixty and California Spangle.

Golden Sixty was last seen when taking the 2023 Grade 1 $HK 12,000,000 Hong Kong Gold Cup where he edged out Romantic Warrior in a final furlong duel. Now a seven-year-old, this gelding has been nothing short of sensational in his career with 14 wins from 17 starts and he has never once been off the board, and he’ll once again be the stalker here and will try to pounce late at the wire

His younger foe California Spangle is also a very classy individual, and he too was a winner last time when taking the Grade 2 Chairmans Trophy earlier this month. He was behind both Golden Sixty and Romantic Warrior in the Grade 1 Stewards Cup in January but has since improved from that run.

He looks sure to adopt his speed tactics and will likely try and go gate-to-wire here.

For Aegon’s trainer Andrew Forsman, this will be a somewhat somber moment as his good friend and rider who rode Aegon in an impressive last workout over 1000 meters, unfortunately, passed away recently. The Aussie horse has run seven furlongs in his most recent starts, including the Grade 1 CF Orr Stakes where he was narrowly beaten and when a good fourth in the Grade 1 Futurity Stakes.

Forsman was recently quoted as saying “Golden Sixty is a very, very good horse, and it’s hard to travel and beat a horse as good as him on their home turf. He and California Spangle are the clear stand-outs, but outside them, I think it’s quite an open field”

Aegon is sure to be one of those aiming to close late and fast and he has a shot underneath.

His fellow countryman My Oberon was only beaten a short head last time in the Grade 1 Star Doncaster Mile at Randwick but that was on a heavy turf track. All of his best form is on soft turf and we are unlikely to see these conditions on Sunday.

The other local runners have their work cut out to make inroads on the top two, although Voyage Bubble could be interesting. He won the Hong Kong Derby last time at odds of 46/1 after making a sharp mid-race move from last and got up late on the wire to win by a nose. He had also won the Classic Mile three back, and unlike many of these, has not faced Golden Sixty or California Spangle at this level. Could he provide another big price upset?

Champions Mile Odds & Betting Predictions

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
Golden SixtyC Y Ho-175
California SpangleZac Purton+275
WaikukuTom Marquand+5000
AegonJames McDonald+2000
Beauty JoyHugh Bowman+1600
My OberonJoao Moreira+1400
Glorious DagonKaris Teetan+6600
Healthy HappySilvestre De Sousa+10000
Voyage BubbleAlexis Badel+1600

Queen Elizabeth II Cup

Grade 1 – Purse $3,185,000 – 2000 meters (1 mile 2 furlongs) – Turf – 4-Year-Olds and Up

Can Romantic Warrior atone for two recent defeats to Golden Sixty by winning the QEII Cup for the second year in succession?

A truly international affair with local runners from Hong Kong, plus Japan and Great Britain in the mix, and the local hopes will be pinned on last year’s winner Romantic Warrior who was last seen failing by just a head to beat the legendary Golden Sixty who runs in the previous race.

He was second in the Grade 1 Stewards Cup, again behind Golden Sixty two back, and that is clearly the best form shown by any of the local runners.

We have two runners from Japan, Geraldina, and Danon The Kid.

Geraldina is a high-class mare and she was a scintillating winner of the Grade 2 Sankei Sho All Comers back in September where she closed late over the 2200-meter distance. She was well held last time over shorter so there is a question mark over this distance in this tougher spot.

She’ll surely be closing late in this.

Danon The Kid has already run on these shores when finishing second in last year’s Hong Kong Cup behind Romantic Warrior. He has four lengths to make up but has clearly been targeted for this. His seasonal debut was very low-key, but he finished third in the valuable Osaka Hai earlier this month and should get closer to last year’s winner.

The British runner is Dubai Honour who was a fine fourth in last year’s Hong Kong Cup but has since struggled for form and looks to have a very tough assignment.

Prognosis, the third runner from Japan won the Grade 2 Kinko Sho last month but this is a huge step up the class ladder and this one will do well to hit the board, as will local runners Money Catcher (likely to be on the speed) and Tourbillon Diamond who both look outclassed here

QEII Cup Odds & Betting Pick

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
Romantic WarriorJames McDonald-100
Dubai HonourTom Marquand+400
Danon The KidC Y Ho+700
Tourbillon DiamondAlexis Badel+5000
Money CatcherSilvestre De Sousa+1600
PrognosisZac Purton+700
GeraldinaCristian Demuro+800

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