The Hong Kong Cup is a Group 1 contest for three year olds and upwards over a distance of 1m 2f and is run in December each year at Sha Tin racecourse. The race has a stunning purse of HK$25,000,000 and is one of four major races to be run on Hong Kong International Race Day. Read on for our experts’ thoughts and betting tips for the race.
Ryan Moore has picked up the most sought after ride at Sha Tin on Sunday and that is the mount of Maurice in the Hong Kong Cup. Joao Moreira was the former partner of the Japanese horse of the year but he and Tommy Berry have parted ways and Ryan was given the mount after his masterful ride to win the Group 1 Tenno Sho in Tokyo last month.
Ryan rode Maurice to victory in last years’ Hong Kong Mile and connections are trying their hardest to win this race in a bid to increase his stud value. He is the best horse in the race and if all goes to plan it’s hard to see him being beat.
Japan certainly hold all the aces in the pack here as they also have the second favourite A Shin Hikari. He produced one of the finest performances ever seen on a world stage to lead all the way and win this race at breakneck speed in 2015. Although he is rated higher than Maurice, he hasn’t been the most consistent of horses and hasn’t produced a performance of that nature since.
Maybe a return to Sha Tin will get the best out of him again and if it does, he looks the chief threat to Maurice. He is widely known to be an absolute head case who either runs a stinker or produces a stunning performance whereas Maurice is as consistent as they come and seldom runs a bad race. A fascinating renewal that should go to the Japanese.