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Hong Kong International Vase assessment

Local runners have a poor record in this race - understandable as they don't really do distance racing - with just two placegetters in the last 10 editions. I think Thumbs Up is pretty exciting, but the rest of them have no hope.

Runners:

Trailblazer: top run in the Japan Cup, finishing 4th and 2.5L behind the mighty mare Buena Vista. He was ahead of Arc winner Danedream and one his main rivals today, Sarah Lynx. Drawn ideally, still a 4yo with steadily improving ratings - he is right in contention for this.

Jakkalberry: wins Group races in Italy, comes up short when he visits the UK. Came fifth in this race last year, can't see him doing any better this time.

Silver Pond: finished midfield in the Arc de Triomphe when he drew the outside and had no alternative but to go back to last. Good form around Bekhabad and Sarafina before that and drawn ideally. French horses have a n exceptional record in this race (8 wins in 17yrs).

Campanologist: won his last two starts, claiming 'softer' Group 1 races in Italy and Germany. Stable won this last year with Mastery. Not a big fan of the horse, but he will be in the mix.

Dunaden: the Melbourne Cup winner who will be at much bigger odds in Europe if you fancy him. Trainer is confident, jockey is in incredible form, big chance.

Mighty High: poor race record for locals and his last two starts have been poor. Would surprise.

Mr Medici: less chance than Mighty High.

Redwood: ran second in this race last year (result and replay). Doesn't appear to be going as well as last year, but has no qualms about travelling. Drawn wide, will get double the UK price in Australia.

Thumbs Up: impressive in his first run over 2000m in almost two years - replay. Flew home down the outside, giving the impression that a further step up in distance won't worry him. Might find it a little harder to flash from the back from gate one, but is a leading contender.

Red Cadeaux: beaten by a pixel in the Melbourne Cup, carrying 1kg less than Dunaden. His trainer knows exactly what he is doing with travelling his horses, back to 2400 won't bother him.

Super Satin: Derby winner of 2010, hasn't run a place in 2011. Nope.

Sarah Lynx: well-travelled French mare, recently running in the Woodbine International (won at 22/1with a dream rails run - check out the awful racecall) and the Japan Cup (12th, never fired). Gets a small weight advantage, not sure she's good enough to win.

Vadamar: quality French 3yo, was fancied in the Epsom Derby but was overshadowed by the other French horse Pour Moi. Had a three month break and was set for this race. Won the Prix De Conseil de Paris at his last start, and with only seven starts under his belt, has plenty of improvement left in him. Versatile, can go forward or back.

VERDICT

Like Trailblazer and Vadamar here, with Silver Pond, Campanologist, Dunaden, Red Cadeaux, Thumbs Up going into the exotics.

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