Japanese Raider Neorealism On Course For Another Big Win At Sha Tin Sunday

Recent years or even months have seen the big World of horse racing shrinking a little with co-mingling betting pools from South Africa and Hong Kong showing the British public that there is high quality racing outside of our little island, and I would like to think that maybe our Daily Sport articles have had a little bit to do with that.

This weekend I have travelled over to Hong Kong again for the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup, a prestigious and valuable (HK$20,000,000) ten furlong event that has attracted a small but select field of eight runners on Sunday afternoon. European involvement is sadly minimal with Dicton representing France with Oliver Peslier in the saddle, and Neil Callan on board local hope Blazing Speed, though we could try and claim Silvestre de Sousa as well (he does at least live in England), as he attempts to coax Pakistan Star in to a level break for the first time in his life.

Although some doom mongers are saying it is not the best field ever assembled for this particular race I don’t really care (is the 2000 Guineas irrelevant every year without Frankel) it still looks both classy and competitive all in one, and I am no nearer to being overly confident that I have found the winner – more hopeful I’m afraid to say.

French raider Dicton at track work.

Europeans have once again let the side down by failing to send our better horses (meanwhile, owners whine on about the lack of prize money, go figure), with French challenger Dicton the only entry and a 25/1 shot at that. His form with Almanzor in the Prix du Jockey Club makes his price laughable and he could sneak in to a place, but I still have thins nagging feeling that he doesn’t stay a truly run mile and a quarter and may get caught lacking for stamina on Sunday.

Werther bolted up in this race last year and looks to have been laid out by trainer John Moore for a repeat performance and I can certainly see him as the main danger to my selection who will be Japanese raider Neorealism. Wherever I look and whatever form lines I take on board I keep coming back to his defeat of the great Maurice in the Sapporo Kinen last August and a repeat of that would surely see all of these blown out of the water? Admittedly his last run here at Sha Tin was a disappointing ninth to Beauty Only in the mile in December but I’m inclined to think it was the trip not the track that stopped him and upped to the mile and a quarter again today, there is a lot to like about him, not least the booking of Joao Moreira who is a superstar over here and seemed pretty confident when I hassled him for a comment on Thursday morning at track work.

I could have it wrong (won’t be the first time), but I see the winner coming from those two with Pakistan Star likely to give away too much ground at the start yet again (when he breaks on level terms he could be unbeatable), but whatever the result I am 100% convinced we are in for a corker of a race.


All photos copyright Hong Kong Jockey Club





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