Denied by Sky Darci in an epic BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) last month, Russian Emperor and Panfield will resume a burgeoning rivalry at Sha Tin on Sunday (2 May) when the classy imports clash in the G3 Queen Mother Memorial Cup Handicap (2400m) at Sha Tin.
Eclipsed by only a head in the 21 March Classic, runner-up Russian Emperor was chased to the line by Panfield, who finished third, only three quarters of a length from Sky Darci.
The performances of both horses left both Douglas Whyte (Russian Emperor) and Tony Millard (Panfield) pondering what might have been with more favourable passages late in the race.
Rather than dwelling on the past, Whyte is confident Russian Emperor – a son of Galileo and champion Australian mare Atlantic Jewel – has recovered fully from the rigours of the Derby.
“He’s come out of the Derby really well. I gave him an easy time after that and I’ve set him up for this race. He trialled (on 20 April) really well, I’m happy with the way he came out of that trial and it’s looking very positive for the weekend.”