Hong Kong Derby
This Sunday’s Hong Kong Derby sees an eclectic mix of horses converge on Sha Tin racecourse vying for honours in the second richest Derby on the planet. Watch and wager as horses that have raced in England, Ireland, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa tackle the 2000m Group1 event – the richest race on the Hong Kong racing calendar.
Likely favourite , the unbeaten Fair Trade ($3.60), saw his career kick off in Australia when winning a 1400m race at Flemington in mid January, 2009. Mick Kent saw his ability very early and decided to tackle the big boys in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes a fortnight later with more dramatic results. He toyed with the opposition in an awesome display that saw him win by nearly 3.5L, a display which marked him as a genuine future Group 1 performer. His next race was to be the Australia Guineas in early March, but owner/breeder Joe Vella had an offer from Hong Kong that was too good to refuse and so the son of Danewin made the 7500km treck to hit the shores of Hong Kong unbeaten, with the promise of further riches in store. He did not disappoint some 5 months later when winning a Class 2 event by 1/2 a length when first up for Caspar Fownes, heavily supported by locals into a $3.60 favourite.
But trouble struck a short time later with a tendon injury that saw him sit out the best part of 8 months on the sideline – watching from his stable as the best in the world competed in mid December on Hong Kong’s International Raceday. Great horses have many characteristics that set them apart from the general equine population – one of them is that they know where the winning post is. When stepping out in a Class 1 race, first up after injury, against proven Class 1 horses and even a Group 1 winner, Fair Trade showed that innate ability of knowing where that winning post was, by hitting the lead in the last couple of bounds thanks to a cracking ride by Australia’s own Brett Prebble.
His knockers will say that he’s had too much of an interrupted preparation – stepping up to the 2000m at Group 1 level, in only his second run since mid 2009. Although a trial can never fully substitute for raceday conditions, he showed he was right on track last week when taking out a 1600m trial with effortless ease against some of fellow Derby aspirants. Take him on at your peril, he will be very hard to beat.
The form horse leading into the Hong Kong Derby Trial was the undoubtedly talented Beauty Flash ($4.80). Trained by local horseman Tony Cruz, this son of Golan (who sired 2007 VRC Derby winner Kibbutz) went into the Derby Trial a long odds-on favourite ($1.60) but couldn’t quite win the feature being overhauled close to home to go down ½ a length to the Sean Woods trained, King Dancer. If he can rebound from this disappointing effort when all did not go his way, he could prove the value runner of the race. However, a late swinging curve ball has been thrown at connections – regular jockey Christophe Soumillon has been suspended for an indiscretion in Dubai late last week – and all reports say that he will not contest the suspension due to the chance of receiving an even longer stint in the sin-bin, which would rule him out of riding in the Dubai World Cup meet in late March. Connections are reportedly chasing flamboyant Italian Frankie Dettori for the mount.
Star recruit Irian, from the well credentialed John Moore stable, is on the 3rd line of betting at $6.00. John Moore works tirelessly to find proven horses that can stack up to the somewhat confined stabling structure in Hong Kong. He often travels to Europe in search of that horse – a tactic that proved very rewarding recently when he took over training Collection prior to winning last years Hong Kong Derby. It all looked good for Irian until a below standard trial last week (won by the aforementioned Fair Trade) where Beadman appeared to be looking down at the horses legs half way down the home straight. A very worrying sign indeed. But he does have the form on the board – he won the German 2000 Guineas and proved to be very competitive in France against their best Group 1 performers. There is no doubt he will need to lift, but he does have the team that can do it.
To celebrate the big race, Sportingbet Australia is offering its clients a 10% Maxi Div bonus on the Hong Kong Derby as well as a 10% Maxi Div bonus on all exotics for the whole 10 race card! We already have a Fixed odds market available right now for the Derby (as well as Fixed Price Quinellas) with a full pre-post market for all 10 races available mid Sunday morning.
We’ll also have the Hong Kong Power Play in action, as we do every Sunday, with markets to 3 races being set at an incredibly low 105%! You won’t get better prices and value for money anywhere! Sportingbet Australia – market leaders in fixed price betting for Hong Kong Racing.
For more fixed odds betting, check out our Racing Specials page where 2 and 3 Horse Match-ups, Total Margin betting, Favourites Challenge, Total Winning Saddlecloth and much, much more are available right now at Sportingbet Australia. Don’t forget Quaddies, all-ups, doubles, extra doubles, trebles and Placecard betting for even bigger payouts! And what meeting wouldn’t be complete without a Jockey Challenge where the worlds best jockeys are vying for dominance at the famous Sha Tin racetrack. Or, for a potentially massive payout, why not try picking the winner of both the Hong Kong Derby and the Dubai World Cup with our Feature Race Double!
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