All eyes are on the big events in Hong Kong on Sunday, with the Audemars Piguet QE II Cup the grand final for some and the Sprint Cup which will have bearings on some big races to come.
Zac Purton rides likely favourite Ambitious Dragon in an open QE II Cup but the Tony Millard-trained six-year-old has done everything right in his lead-up and is the horse to beat.
The international visitors did not fare well in the barrier draw and Japan’s Eishin Flash, who has worked well this week, has a difficult task from gate 13, while Godolphin’s Sajjhaa has been easily upset by the small crowds at trackwork and there is a growing fear she will be mentally unable to cope with a bigger crowd on race day.
Sydney jockey Tommy Berry has a chance to open his Hong Kong stint on a Group One winner with John Moore-trained Military Attack in the feature and South African mare, Igugu, is a wild card after not finding her best form in Dubai. Berry also has good rides on President Lincoln and Cool Bean.
In the Sprint Cup, Time After Time is on trial for a trip to Royal Ascot in a race won by Little Bridge last year and stablemates Frederick Engels and Captain Sweet could head to Singapore if they run well.
Caspar Fownes’ good sprinter Lucky Nine was an entry for Royal Ascot this week too – he had hoof problems in his last-start defeat but can bounce back and a good performance may see him at Ascot too.
In the last race, John Size-trained Little Men, a likely Derby horse for next season, faces his toughest test so far with top weight and a wide draw but the winner of 3 of his 6 starts is the horse to beat.
By Nathan Mody