By Jon Lees
Hong Kong: Hong Kong Vase defending champion Mogul is among five Aidan O’Brien-trained horses selected to contest the HK$100 million (£9.6m) Longines Hong Kong International Races.
Broome and Japan, who both run in Sunday’s Japan Cup, Bolshoi Ballet and Mother Earth complete the Ballydoyle team which will comprise a line-up of 22 G1 winners set to run in the Sha Tin spectacular on December 12.
Broome will join Mogul in the Vase among a European challenge that also includes the G1 Coronation Cup winner Pyledriver and the filly Ebaiyra, set to be one of retiring trainer Alain de Royer Dupre’s final runners.
Bolshoi Ballet and Japan head for the Hong Kong Cup where they will be joined by the Champion Stakes second and third Dubai Honour and Mac Swiney who will take on Japan’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner Loves Only You.
The 1,000 Guineas winner Mother Earth will take on the challenge of tackling Hong Kong superstar Golden Sixty, who is on a 15 race win streak, while Japan has assembled a team comprising Danon Kingly, Salios, Vin de Garde and Indy Champ.
Japan will also be strongly represented in the Hong Kong Sprint by G1 Sprinters Stakes one-two Pixie Knight and Resistencia while last year’s winner Danon Smash is also selected.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club’s executive director, racing, Andrew Harding said: “To have runners of this calibre in any year would be notable but once again it is truly remarkable given the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are delighted that the quality of the selected runners for this year’s Longines Hong Kong International Races is in keeping with our long-held commitment to deliver sporting excellence and Loves Only You’s return to Hong Kong after her historical Breeders’ Cup victory is incredibly exciting, as is the arrival of a quintet from Aidan O’Brien’s all-powerful Ballydoyle operation.
“Our hometown hero Golden Sixty is looking to enhance his astonishing unbeaten streak to 16 and also set a new all-time winning record of 19 in Hong Kong should he successfully defend his Hong Kong Mile title while star sprinter Wellington’s development adds further intrigue and everything surely points to a thrilling afternoon of sport on Sunday, 12 December.”
• View the entries at the Hong Kong Jockey Club