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Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
55,000 Furlongs to the Finish

Designs On Rome wins the APQEII Cup in Hong Kong

Designs On Rome APQEII 615 X 400

The 2014 Audemars Piguet QEII Cup is one of the two spring jewels of the Hong Kong racing calendar. The 1 ¼ mile international Group 1 event at Sha Tin boasts a $14,000,000 HKD (~$1,800,000 USD) purse that draws some of the top middle distance turf horses in the world. The top class field included Japanese classic winning Epiphaneia, and South Africa’s grade 1 winning Vercingetorix, who was coming in fresh off a second place finish in the Dubai Duty Free.


Despite the top talent, this race did not belong to the international invaders. It was the two powerhouses from Hong Kong that would separate themselves from the field. Military Attack was returning from a failed effort as a favorite in the Dubai World Cup, and hoping to regain form in the APQEII Cup. Breaking sharply on turf rated good, he was forwardly placed in a slow early pace. Rounding the final turn, he unleashed his signature turn of foot, and looked to be clear of the field. However,  Designs on Rome was not about to let him get away so easily.


Slugging it out for the final 300 meters, the Hong Kong Derby winner was able to edge clear of Military Attack to win the race by a neck. Stopping the clock in 2:01.06, the 4 year old gelded son of Holy Roman Emperor has proven his form will hold when facing older horses. By winning today, he became only the third horse in the history of the Hong Kong Jockey Club to achieve the Hong Kong Derby and the APQEII Cup double.


This race marked Design on Rome’s 6th win in 13 career starts, and brings his career earnings in excess of $26,000,000 HKD.  It appears that a divisional championship is locked at this point, but trainer John Moore indicated Designs on Rome’s next likely start will be the 1 ½ mile Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (HKG1) next month in an attempt to win Horse of the Year.


Below are some of the photos that I took during my visit to Sha Tin for this year’s Audemars Piguet QEII Cup. Enjoy!



Lucky Scepter getting past Do You Get It just past the wire


 South African jockey Karis Teetan after winning on PJ Hall


Horses being led to the paddock for saddling for the day's 4th race 



The gallop out


 Straight Gold's unique nose marking


 Charles the Great winning the G2 Sprint Cup


 Douglas Whyte after riding Charles the Great to victory in the Sprint Cup


 Military Attack




 Designs on Rome


 Designs on Rome headed out onto the track for the APQEII Cup



 Designs on Rome winning the APQEII Cup


 A triumphant return to the winner's circle




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Older Comments about Designs On Rome wins the APQEII Cup in Hong Kong...

Interesting setting for the track: mountains on one side and skyscrapers on another.
Gorgeous photos! Sha Tin is on my bucket list. Honestly, who had a better day than Holy Roman Emperor with DonR and Charlie the Emperor scoring!?!

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Meet Matt Scott 

My horseracing journey began when I was 16 years old and my mom took me to Hollywood Park. Although I did not fully appreciate it at the time, the experience stuck with me forever. 10 years later, during one of my many international business trips to Hong Kong, I visited Sha Tin racetrack to watch the races. This is where my true passion began. 


Holding a masters degree in mechanical engineering, the puzzle of handicapping intrigued me. I have made a career of making decisions based on trends, patterns, and formulas, which is why I think I was initially drawn to the sport. However, I have truly learned to appreciate the horses and how magnificent they are as athletes. 


I currently live in San Jose, CA, and when not following racing, I like to spend time with my wife, mountain bike, and design high-speed bicycles that I build and race For reference, 55,000 furlongs is the distance from Hong Kong to my home in San Jose. Also, I have 1-year-old dachshund (aka wiener dog) that I am training to race in the annual Wiener Nationals held at Golden Gate Fields.   


The purpose of this blog is to help give people the viewpoint of a fan that is newer to the sport and eager to learn. I like to respectfully speak my mind, and often the ideas come out of left field, which could give a fresh perspective on a sport rich with tradition and history. hope to represent the many future fans that I wish to follow my footsteps into the Sport of Kings. 

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