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So the Hong Kong season is in its final throes. Well, not quite - there are still 17 meetings and nine weeks until the closing meeting, but with the Audemars Piguet QE II Cup, Champions Mile and Chairman's Sprint Prize over, the most significant parts of the term are done and dusted.(Full Story)
Friday, May 6, 2016

Rely on young guns bound for better things as TT play
Talented three-year-olds Superior Boy and Fairy Twins won't be in Class Four for long and playing the pair as a double banker in the middle leg can help unlock the...

Schutz to score shortly with stable recruit Pride
It's no secret that times are tough at the Andreas Schutz yard, but Elite Pride's first run down in Class Five on Wednesday night suggested that he at least is going to pull...

Apprentice Kei Chiong hot on the heels of Joao Moreira in lucky night for some
They might only have won two races between them at Happy Valley last night, but champion jockey Joao Moreira and apprentice Kei Chiong Ka-kei had something...

Take nothing away from Chautauqua, but his Hong Kong victory wasn't the best Sha Tin sprint win this season
So, Chautauqua. We've talked in this space before about sectional times and tempo. They make the ordinary look extraordinary, the great look disappointing. Or, in the case...

Sha Tin turf trials a pointer to the future
Three-year-olds came to the fore in yesterday's barrier trials and Danny Shum Chap-shing's Sun Touch looks close to breaking through after a solid 1,000m effort at Sha Tin.

An important guide: how to get through the tough end-of-season period in Hong Kong racing
It doesn't get any better than Sunday at Sha Tin - two all-time equine greats, Maurice and Chautauqua, at the top of their game putting in performances for the ages.

No plans to replicate December HKIR meeting despite success of spring features, says Jockey Club
Despite the success of the newly internationalised Chairman's Sprint Prize on Champions Mile day, the Jockey Club has no plans to tinker with the current format...

Valley Marvel Fownes the man needed for TT Victory
Come the latter part of the season, fresh legs count for plenty and Caspar Fownes-trained threeyear- old Victory Marvel can break through at his third career start in the...

Five Stars for Yung's Class Four talent Agent
Benno Yung Tin-pang doesn't have as many runners as many of his training rivals, but he keeps chipping away with a sound winning strike rate and Five Stars Agent is...

Royal Ascot beckons for Chautauqua, but could the Hong Kong Mile be his December target?
When the Aussie assault on the Chairman's Sprint Prize cleared, the world's best sprinter tag was finally hanging off Chautauqua's neck with an air of permanence but...

Yasuda Kinen defence not locked in for Maurice, but beaten runners may aim at rich Tokyo mile
Maurice simply mauled his rivals in the Champions Mile but it may yet be safe for Hong Kong-trained horses to travel to Tokyo for next month's Yasuda Kinen, with "the...

Tony Cruz believes Kei Chiong can be leading local rider this term after apprentice loses full claim
After Kei Chiong Ka-kei reached a personal milestone by losing her 10-pound claim yesterday, legendary local jockey and current trainer Tony Cruz said the apprentice...

Spanish steps for John Moore as Helene Paragon emerges as potential top miler
Hong Kong's four-year-old crop continues to polish up a bright future, with Derby fifth Helene Paragon hacking up in Class Two despite a sharp drop in distance and showing...

Chautauqua and Maurice live up to their billing as the world's best sprinter and miler in Sha Tin stunners
Believe the hype. They came, they saw, they conquered and more importantly, Chautauqua and Maurice did everything that was expected and lived up to their billing...

World awaits Chautauqua, Maurice after stunning Hong Kong feature victories
The world came, they saw and they conquered at Sha Tin on Sunday as Australian sprinter Chautauqua took the Chairman's Sprint Prize in breathtaking fashion, before...

Chautauqua to 'advance Australia fair' and prove world's best in Chairman's Sprint Prize
There is likely to be at least one moment during the HK$10 million Chairman's Sprint Prize where it looks like Chautauqua can't win, but that is nothing new and...

Maurice to conquer locals again in quest for Hong Kong Mile-Champions Mile double
The HK$14 million Champions Mile today at Sha Tin swings around a couple of propositions - whether Maurice is fully fit and whether Maurice can cope with...

Time for talk is over: Sunday's Sha Tin Showdown will reveal the world's best sprinter
Think Thrilla In Manila, think Rumble In The Jungle, think Showdown at Sha Tin because it's on. This might have started out life as Champions Mile day but, in the...

Brett Prebble gushes over new sprint partner Lucky Bubbles
Top jockey Brett Prebble has swapped nine for bubbles and Sunday won't tell him anything he doesn't know about his new sprint beau, only how long he has to wait...

Gerald Mosse vows to return amid speculation over his Hong Kong future
French jockey Gerald Mosse has a simple message for his supporters in the midst of speculation that Sunday's Sha Tin feature meeting could be his last day of riding in...

First stop, Hong Kong: Godolphin eyeing world domination as north and south operations come together for Champions Mile
The HK$14 million Champions Mile at Sha Tin on Sunday marks a milestone moment for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum's leviathan Godolphin operation when...

An open letter to Singapore: Hong Kong thanks you for one of the best races on the planet in 2016, the Chairman's Sprint Prize
To our dear friends at the Singapore Turf Club, I am writing this letter to thank you for what now appears to be one of the most short-sighted and stunning decisions made in...

Sucker punch: Aerovelocity draws horror gate for Chairman's Sprint Prize
Owner Daniel Yeung Ngai appeared numbed by having chosen at random for Hong Kong's champion sprinter Aerovelocity to jump from gate 14 in a heavyweight...

Matthew Chadwick to spark revival with gun Chairman's Sprint Prize mount Peniaphobia
It has been a frustrating few months for Matthew Chadwick after a long lay-off from injury but a pick-up ride on Group One contender Peniaphobia in the Chairman's Sprint...

Difficult to Master toughest Triple Trio in quite some time but rely on Paul O'Sullivan
A Triple Trio capped by one of the best Sha Tin sprint races in recent memory makes it a tough one to crack but bringing Bulb Master back in trip makes the Paul O'Sullivan-trained...

Golden days ahead for Almond Lee's ex-Kiwi galloper Glory
The fine tuning will continue for Golden Glory but the former New Zealander did enough on Wednesday night to make him a horse to follow in the near future.

New perspective: Joao Moreira likes current view atop Maurice compared to last year's Hong Kong Mile
Joao Moreira much prefers the view he had of champion miler Maurice yesterday from on top of the horse than the one he had from aboard Able Friend in last year's...

Zac Purton's magical ride a Beauty for Tony Cruz
It was a bit of the old and a little of the new at Happy Valley as the Dream Team put the band back together, Zac Purton got full marks after a rare win for Tony Cruz and...

Richard Gibson looks to Giant Treasure trove in quest for Group One glory at Sha Tin - and beyond
Fresh and back in trip proved the winning formula for Gold-Fun two months ago in the Chairman's Sprint Prize and trainer Richard Gibson is trying the same sort of...

Hyped Australian rivalry set to dominate run up to Chairman's Sprint Prize
When Buffering's trainer Rob Heathcote watched Group One Chairman's Sprint Prize rival Chautauqua fly past in a gallop late last week he produced some playful mock...

The Japanese invasion was staved off for another big meeting, but how much longer can it be kept at bay?
The Japanese challenge for the Audemars Piguet QE II Cup was beautiful chalk pavement art - stunning one minute, vanished the next in a swish of rain and...

Divine Boy ready for Sprint test after trial
Divine Boy looks like being little more than cannon fodder in Sunday's Chairman's Sprint Prize but the Me Tsui Yu-sak-trained sprinter doesn't know that and looked...

Are Australian sprinters really the best in the world? A new dawn as Buffering, Chautauqua face tough test on foreign soil
The sun rises in the east, sets in the west and Australia breeds the best sprinters in the world; some things you just have to accept as fact.

Joao Moreira has the Lucky hand to bookend Triple Trio
Joao Moreira rides provide the standout selections in the first and last legs of tomorrow night's Triple Trio at Happy Valley on a C course that could throw some...

Almond Lee's Happy sounds a warning that he is ready to win
Happy Sound was at cricket score odds on Sunday when fourth to Noble De Boy but the lightly raced three-year-old makes the black book after showing significant signs of...

Mongolian Saturday turns up the pace in stirring hit-out ahead of Chairman's Sprint Prize
Douglas Whyte took it to heart when trainer Ganbat Enebish suggested he hadn't been going quick enough in his training work with Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner


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Alan Aitken
Multi-talented Alan has worked in all facets of the media, including live television in Australia, and was the master of the famous AJC Punters Podium in Sydney for many years...

Michael Cox
Australian journalist Michael Cox is the newest member of the SCMP racing team this season after a career in his homeland with considerable experience working ...

Phillip Woo
Phillip Woo has long shown a passion for horse racing dating back to his earlier years in Canada where he learned some of the ropes of racing...

Andrew Hawkins
Andrew graduated from university in Australia with a communications degree, specialising in journalism, and has married that with his deep love of...


MORE STORIES

Sha Tin 'should recover well' from weekend hammering by rain in time for Sunday Group Ones
A rail move and some recent luck with cooler weather will see Sha Tin present well again for next weekend's Champions Mile-Chairman's Sprint Prize meeting despite the...

Cox Plate on the agenda for QE II Cup winner Werther after 'world class' display
John Moore's thirst for a major in Australia remains unquenched and he placed the Cox Plate in Melbourne on Werther's agenda after the Derby winner dismantled an outstanding...

Hugh Bowman: the world's premier jockey? QE II effort suggests he is up there
In the zone ... in a purple patch of form ... riding in a way which make it seem like things are happening in slow motion around him.

Ambitious plans for Richard Gibson's Queen Mother Memorial Cup winner Champion
Ambitious Champion will find himself in the deep end next start, forced to take on Werther at level weights in a Group One, but while winning that may be beyond him,...

Legendary Felix Coetzee gives his tick of approval for in-vogue Kei Chiong
With every confidence-building win, D-day gets ever closer for in-vogue apprentice Kei Chiong Ka-kei, but her mentor Felix Coetzee believes Hong Kong's only female jockey...

David Hall singing in the rain as he brings up late Sha Tin double
David Hall could be forgiven for doing a little rain dance yesterday after the trainer took the final two races at a drenched Sha Tin with Solar Hei Hei and Berlini.

John Moore's Werther storms clear of his rivals in QE II Cup romp
There are big races that play out to the script. There are others where the script is revised by an outcome and still others where the revisions carry on in running.

Hong Kong Derby winner Werther 'world class' in QE II Cup demolition for John Moore
"World class" is how trainer John Moore described the breathtaking performance of Werther to win Sunday's HK$20 million Audemars Piguet QE II Cup at Sha Tin.

Ugly weather expected at Sha Tin, but Lovely Day to snare the QE II Cup for Japan
Given the weather forecast, there is a degree of irony to his name but the horse regarded by many as Japan's best 2,000m horse, Lovely Day, is the one to beat in...

Queen Mother Memorial Cup looms large for John Moore's former non-winner Victory Magic
A sharp ratings rise and the likelihood of a slow tempo shouldn't stop the former so-called "non-winner" Victory Magic running away with the Group Three Queen Mother...

QE II Cup a sign of the times as Japan prepares to mount more raids on Sha Tin
The prospect of a Japanese win looms large in the HK$20 million Audemars Piguet QE II Cup today but, regardless of today's result, racing fans might have to get used...

Timing is key: Neil Callan believes waiting for the right moment will be pivotal for Blazing Speed's QE II Cup defence
Defending Audemars Piguet QE II Cup hero Blazing Speed and rider Neil Callan haven't been that kind of horse and jockey tale celebrated in song and story, but the...

Japanese trainers offer mixed response to possibility of rain-affected track in QE II Cup
Wet and wild weather at Sha Tin failed to stop the strong Japanese contingent completing preparations yesterday for the Audemars Piguet QE II Cup, but news that...

Story of the week goes to the odd couple relationship of Buffering and Rising Romance
For horses used to the hustle and bustle of a busy racing stable, the Sha Tin quarantine barns can be a lonely, desolate place, an exercise in isolation.

John Moore gives his three QE II Cup runners the thumbs up after final gallops
Any fears Werther is feeling the effects of his BMW Hong Kong Derby campaign were put to rest with a strong gallop yesterday morning as John Moore's three Audemars...

David Hayes' insider knowledge of Hong Kong a factor in Rising Romance's trip to Sha Tin
Trainer David Hayes might not have made the trip to Sha Tin for this wekend's Audemars Piget QE II Cup with Rising Romance but for the local knowledge he picked...

Everyone's a winner: Tactics key to QE II Cup as all contenders are happy with barrier draw
Most were happy with their barrier draws yesterday for the HK$20 million Audemars Piguet QE II Cup on Sunday, but between the likely tactics and tempos, the race...

John Size's Volitation a reliable Triple Trio banker
John Size-trained three-year-old Volitation should appreciate a step up in distance on Sunday at Sha Tin and stands out as banker as he goes for back-to-back wins in the...

Drop in class shows Wayfoong Vinnie on the path to victory
John Size-trained Wayfoong Vinnie makes the blackbookers after his first run in Class Four on Wednesday night, when he should have finished a fair bit closer...

Dethroned king of Happy Valley Caspar Fownes breaks longest drought of career
Caspar Fownes has done some of his best work at Happy Valley, including a six-win haul one afternoon, but the dethroned king of the city track was just happy to see...

Nuovo Record 'right at her peak' as she prepares for QE II Cup
Connections believe Japanese mare Nuovo Record returns for Sunday's Group One Audemars Piguet QE II Cup in even better shape than when second on international...

Heavy hitter Mike de Kock looking for third QE II Cup success with Ertijaal
Douglas Whyte and Mike de Kock may have been two of the very biggest South African names in the sport over the past two decades, but the connection between...

New boy Opie Bosson out to make a big impression at Sha Tin
If Opie Bosson is truly looking for a test to see if he is up for a full-time contract next term then he certainly has a sense of timing by beginning an end-of-season stint on...

Aerovelocity locks in Chairman's Sprint Prize start despite uninspiring dirt trial
Trainer Paul O'Sullivan and jockey Zac Purton were staying upbeat after Aerovelocity's somewhat uninspiring barrier trial at Sha Tin yesterday as a host of stars had final...

Australia racing whips itself into a frenzy with fines
If we had a dollar for all the people with an anti-racing bent over the years who warned us that the jockeys' whips were actually striking their boots, not the horses, we'd have...