Ask any owner in Hong Kong which race they want to win above all others and the chances are they will say the HK$18 million BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m), so with that in mind, the last race at Sha Tin this Sunday (6 January) is the 10-race card’s must-watch event.
The Class 2 Lung Kong Handicap (1600m) features nine horses eligible, by virtue of age, for the crowning leg of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series, which kicks off three weeks from now with the Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m).
Not only is that bunch eligible but it also includes some of the biggest buzz horses on the stable block; big money imports from hemispheres north and south such as Tigre Du Terre (124lb), Furore (129lb), Heavenly Thought (125lb), Charity Go (123lb) and Ka Ying Star (120lb).
Tigre Du Terre arrived in the Caspar Fownes yard from England this past autumn with a progressive profile and the handler has his eyes fixed firmly on the Derby.
“There’s no doubt he’s a Derby horse,” Fownes said at Sha Tin this morning (Friday, 4 January). “We’ll see what happens on the weekend and we’ll decide what we do with him – whether to go for the whole series or mix and choose between the first two races, the Classic Mile (1600m) and Classic Cup (1800m).
“He’s not nailed on for the Classic Mile, but obviously, if he comes out and wins this race well we’ll go there because there’s big money for the owner, but the big target is the Derby,” he said.