Chasing successive wins in Sunday’s (27 February) HK$12 million Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) at Sha Tin, Alexis Badel has armed himself with the ride on Turin Redsun – a progressive son of super stallion Dubawi – who seemingly floated below the radar until his eye-catching fourth in the Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m) last month.
“He trialled well, I’m very happy to ride him and Douglas (Whyte) seems to be very confident with the horse – it seems like he is coming together at the right time, and I think it is a good ride to pick up,” Badel said. “I’m fully confident that the horse can be very competitive.”
Victorious in 2021 aboard Healthy Happy, Badel hops aboard the Whyte-trained Turin Redsun for the first time this weekend – eager to upstage better credentialed rivals such as Romantic Warrior and California Spangle – both of whom are expected to dominate the market in a contest that hasn’t been overly kind to favourites since its inception in 2006.
Three favourites have won the Hong Kong Classic Cup (known as the Hong Kong Derby Trial until 2010): Floral Pegasus (2007), Rapper Dragon (2017) and Golden Sixty (2020), while nine winners have returned double figure odds including It Has To Be You (2013) and Mission Tycoon (2019) who shocked at 125/1 and 91/1, respectively.
“It’s Hong Kong – you don’t think too much sometimes, you find a horse, or you find another one, then you get kicked off and you find another one – it’s like a circus but I am very happy to be sitting on a horse who looks competitive, and I will fight to win the race again,” Badel said.
Other long-priced winners of the Hong Kong Classic Cup include Thunder Fantasy (2015) at 22/1 and Healthy Happy (2021) at 21/1, while between 2009 when Unique Jewellery won at 11/1 and It Has To Be You in 2013 – no winner returned a dividend below than 9/1.