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Hong Kong Vase preview

International Day at Sha Tin in Hong Kong is one of the world's great race days. If you've never been, put it down on your bucket list. When horse racing is the biggest event in town, this place really puts on a great show. All four of the international races will be covered this weekend on the blog, and first off the press is Calum Law with his analysis of the Vase. Follow him via @calumswanlaw.



A race which has been farmed by European trainers, with no domestic winners and only two non euros taking the prize since the race was created in 1994. This year's would on the surface appear to be no different, with the only two local horses, the rank outsiders with the British bookmakers.

Red Cadeaux- Lovable globetrotting seven year old who took this race last year. Seems as good as ever if his second in the Melbourne Cup is to be taken at face value and is very likely to run his race. Gets the assistance of Hong Kong stalwart Gerald Mosse and has to be considered a player to retain his title and take his career earnings within half a million pounds of St Nicholas Abbey's British and Irish record

Dunaden- Long time rival of Red Cadeaux and former winner of the Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup Down Under as well as taking this race in 2011. Seemed to have lost a step since being teamed up with Jamie Spencer [never won on the horse from seven attempts], but then ran a screamer last time when finishing much the best of the raiders in a weak edition of the Japan Cup. On that form he needs respecting but most likely it will be place money at best if he is to add to his impressive haul of over five million pounds

Dominant- Former Roger Varian-trained horse who has been massively underrated by the British bookmakers, Trading as big as 150-1. Admittedly he has ran two poor races on his last two starts, but his two before that, partnered by today's rider Zac Purton on both occasions, were cracking runs. Besting the useful Willie Cazals and running third to two-time Hong Kong Cup winner California Memory in a Group One over course and distance. A left field selection, but really should not be the price he is to give the locals their first win in the race

Feuerblitz- Former Italian Derby winner who arrives here having won his last two on home soil under today's rider. The latter contest was a Group One affair but like many Italian Group Ones these days was a pretty weak affair (Ed. - Italian racing authorities haven't paid any prizemoney to foreign winners for at least a year, hence they don't bother anymore). Would be a surprise winner in this field

Mount Athos- Horse known primarily for being an unlucky fifth in last year's Melbourne Cup under Ryan Moore, Dandino a snap this time around, but the jockey maintains he wasn't an unlucky loser. Seems a bit of a hype horse and has never won above Group Three level. In one of his two wins at that level he beat Mad Moose into second. At the prices not hard to look elsewhere

Seismos- Interesting German raider who was third in the Joshua Tree Woodbine Stakes last time. Obviously flattered by his proximity to Novellist at Baden Baden in September but it still has to be considered a strong piece of form. Smashed the useful Empoli the time before and his only recent disappointment was when upped to the marathon trip in the Cadran. Not without a chance here and at 20-1 another of the value plays

Dandino- Has won the American St Leger and has been second in the Caulfield Cup and fifth in the Melbourne Cup since being purchased by his current owners. Finished fast both times Down Under, and Ryan Moore has been subsequently replaced by Damien Oliver for today's race after the owners absolutely slated the jockey in the press for a poor ride. I am not of that opinion and he will need a career best to add a second group one to his resume

Simenon- Irish stayer/hurdler who arrives here having run fourth in the Melbourne Cup but well down the track in Japan. Gets Ryan Moore today but no reason why he should contend at the finish over the twelve furlong trip

Asuka Kurichan- Japanese raider who looks to emulate Stay Gold who won this race for Japan in 2001. An infrequent winner with a SR of 2-14 but one of those victories was last time out. The runner up that day was Admire Rakti. On collateral form with that rival he has to be considered alongside Dunaden and well ahead of Simenon yet trades much bigger than both. Unlikely to be good enough, but also likely he is overpriced

Liberator- Second of the locals and like Dominant is ridden by a Melbourne cup winning Jockey. Has been wildly out of form of late but was a very useful performer last year, fourth in this race and a winner over local legend Ambitious Dragon over CD. Would have to recapture that form to get involved here. Rates an unlikely winner

The Fugue- The X factor of the race and the short priced favourite. Hard to argue with that and apart from her blow out in the Eclipse she has been uber consistent throughout her career, hitting the board in 11 of her 15 runs to date. A fascinating runner but at around 6-4 she has to be opposed. Only one for four when taking on the boys and that is enough to swerve her at the odds

Nymphea- German filly who took a weak Group One in her homeland in the summer. Her defeats to Lost in the Moment and Moment in Time suggests she has a lot to prove at this level. Only rated 106 and even with her allowances doesn't look good enough

Galileo Rock- Plodding three year old who represents the dubious classic form. Has been placed in three classics but still looks a chunk short of what will be required to win. Hasn't got his head in front since his debut and readily passed over

Ebiyza- Alain De Royer-Dupre raider who looks to emulate the trainers Daryakana who took this race as a three year old in 2009 having also proved best in the Prix Royallieu on Arc weekend. Wouldn't appear in the same class as Daryakana and unlikely to give Christophe Lemaire a dream send off as the Aga Khan's jockey

Conclusion- A race which centres around The Fugue but she is only one for four when taking on the boys, and has also been turned over at prohibitive odds on her two trips outside of Europe. At the prices she is begging to be taken on, and it is the other end of the spectrum i am looking at with DOMINANT. The locals have a shocking record in this race and he is coming here off of two poor runs but with Bet 365 going 150-1 1-4 the first three he has to be worth a small go each way. He was a beaten favourite when third in a classy group one over course and distance three starts back and has the necessary class to get involved. Last years winner Red Cadeaux should be in there pitching again and Seismos isn't without a chance at big odds either

Recommended play Dominant 150-1 EW with 365


  1. 150/1 winner! Incredible tipping performance.

    Started 12/1 on the day, early price adjusted by two scratchings, but still a massive win.


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