11/12/2004 1:00AM

Bowman's Crossing seeks reversal


With the last European group race of the season having been run in France on Thursday, international action shifts to the Far East for the remainder of the year.

The Group 2 International Cup Trial at Sha Tin on Sunday serves as the local prep for the Hong Kong Cup, the feature race on Hong Kong International Race Day, Dec. 12. Worth $385,000, the 1 1/4-mile Cup Trial includes the first four home in the Group 3 Sha Tin Trophy Handicap on Oct. 17. In that one-mile race, Ain't Here won by a nose over Bowman's Crossing, who was giving the winner 11 pounds. Sunday, they meet at equal weights, so Bowman's Crossing, trained by David Oughton, looks difficult to beat.

Whortleberry, trained in France by Francois Rohaut, is the lone foreign invader in the $1.63 million Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup at Kyoto, Japan. Winner of the Group 2 Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville on Aug. 22, Whortleberry stands a good chance in this 1 3/8-mile prep for the Nov. 28 Japan Cup despite having drawn post 16 in a field of 18.

Sweep Tosho, winner of Kyoto's Grade 1 Shuka Sho on Oct. 4, and Admire Groove, third to colts in the Grade 1 Autumn Tenno Sho in Tokyo last time, will dispute Whortleberry's claims.

* The connections of Moscow Burning have declined an invitation to run in the Japan Cup. Their decision leaves Total Impact as the lone American runner at Tokyo, when the Chilean-bred will go in the 1 5/16-mile Japan Cup Dirt.