A total of 80 internationally recognized Group 1 winners are among the 267 nominations for the LONGINES Hong Kong International Races at Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday, 9 December.
The four prestigious Group 1 contests are staged under the LONGINES banner for the first time this year and carry total prize money of HK$72 million, placing the “Turf World Championships” among the top three most lucrative race days on the globe.
This year’s nominations read like a who’s who of thoroughbred superstars with the world’s highest rated horse in training Cirrus Des Aigles, recent Prix de l’ Arc de Triomphe heroine Solemia and crack miler Excelebration leading a stellar provisional cast list that represents 13 nations and jurisdictions.
“We are delighted with the depth of quality the LONGINES Hong Kong International Races have once again attracted at the nomination stage,” said The Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Executive Director of Racing, William A Nader. “Such star names are what we have come to expect from our flagship race day, an event that is one of Hong Kong’s most famous sporting spectacles. With LONGINES joining us for the first time this year, we are confident that this great occasion, now widely recognised as the Turf World Championships, can only enhance its standing as the sport’s annual international finale.”
Cirrus Des Aigles was last seen making the now retired Frankel work a little for his win in the G1 Champion Stakes at Ascot on 20 October. Corine Barande-Barbe’s charge has the HK$22 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m) as his preferred end of year target.