The 2021 LONGINES Hong Kong International Races has attracted a galaxy of global and local stars with 135 world-class horses included in a glittering entry, with 57 individual Group 1 winners from nine countries or regions eyeing the lucrative four-race showcase on 12 December.
Now worth a mammoth HK$100 million, the four G1s on offer are the HK$30 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m), HK$26 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m), HK$24 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) and HK$20 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m).
While the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to create uncertainty around many international sporting events, the strength of this year’s entries for the LONGINES Hong Kong International Races again reaffirms the importance of the end-of-year spectacular to horsemen from around the world with the nomination of heavyweights Golden Sixty, Gran Alegria, Verry Elleegant, Mac Swiney, Tarnawa, Loves Only You, Hot King Prawn, Danon Smash, Nature Strip, Snowfall, Love and Sealiway.
Japan heads the overseas representation with 40 of the 90 entries received from abroad, while Hong Kong has 45 contenders listed.
Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year Golden Sixty headlines a fascinating list of entries. The brilliant son of Medaglia d’Oro hasn’t tasted defeat in over two years and will look to defend his title in the LONGINES Hong Kong Mile after blitzing last year’s contest.
A strong contingent from Aidan O’Brien’s all-conquering Ballydoyle has been entered with the Irish mastermind fielding 10 nominations. Featured is Mogul, last year’s LONGINES Hong Kong Vase hero, while his brilliant Epsom Oaks winning duo, Love and Snowfall, could also feature. Love claimed the Classic at Epsom Downs by nine lengths in 2020, while Snowfall took it up a notch with a commanding 16-length triumph this year.
Order Of Australia, Bolshoi Ballet, Japan, Mother Earth, Broome, La Joconde and Santiago also feature for O’Brien, the most single entries of any handler for this year’s flagship event as he looks to add to his three Hong Kong International Races victories.