Bobby Zen

Group 1 winners Regional (GB) (Territories {Ire}) and Dubai Honour (Ire) (Pride Of Dubai {Aus}) head 12 European entries for the FWD Champions Day at Sha Tin on April 28. A strong international challenge also includes 25 potential runners from Japan, eight from Australia and three from the UAE, while there are 41 locally-trained entries.

Regional, now six, gave his trainer Ed Bethell a first Group 1 success in last year’s Haydock Sprint Cup and he has been entered for the G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize, with prize-money totalling approximately £2.2 million. His fellow British-trained horses Annaf (Ire) (Muhaarar {GB}), Believing (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}) and Frost At Dawn (Frosted) are also entered.

The William Haggas-trained Dubai Honour, a dual Group 1 winner in Australia, would be returning for a third run in Hong Kong. He was fourth in the 2021 G1 Longines Hong Kong Cup and third last year in the G1 FWD QEII Cup, which this time around is worth approximately £2.8 million. Haggas has also entered Maljoom (Ire) (Caravaggio) for the G1 FWD Champions Mile, which could also feature Middleham Park Racing’s globetrotting Brave Emperor (Ire) (Sioux Nation), trained by Archie Watson, and Fort Payne (Fr) (Rio De La Plata) for French trainer Nicolas Caullery.

Three of the winners of last December’s Hong Kong International Races – Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d’Oro), Romantic Warrior (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}) and Lucky Sweynesse (NZ) (Sweynesse {Aus}) – hold entries for the meeting, along with Japan’s Fillies’ Triple Crown winner Liberty Island (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}) and Godolphin’s Measured Time (GB) (Frankel {GB}), winner of the G1 Jebel Hatta in January. 

 “We are excited by the spread and quality of international entries among the nominations for FWD Champions Day,” said Andrew Harding, executive director of racing for the Hong Kong Jockey Cub. 

“The potential return of Golden Sixty in the FWD Champions Mile after his stunning Longines Hong Kong Mile performance in December, along with Romantic Warrior in the FWD QEII Cup and Lucky Sweynesse in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize, lays the foundation for another wonderful staging of our spring flagship meeting.

“We are delighted at the support we have received from overseas owners and trainers in Japan, England, France, Ireland, Australia and the United Arab Emirates, with the number of entries across our three Group 1 features rising from 71 last season to 89 this year.”


The post Strong European Challenge for Hong Kong’s Champions Day appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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