12/11/2014 1:25PM

Flintshire a strong favorite in Hong Kong Vase

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Hong Kong Jockey Club
Flintshire has three straight second-place finishes, but goes into Sunday's Hong Kong Vase as the favorite.

Flintshire will make his third appearance on as many continents this fall when he starts as a strong favorite in Sunday’s Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong.

The Group 1 Hong Kong Vase over 1 1/2 miles on turf is one of four major stakes on the biggest day of the Hong Kong racing calendar.

Flintshire was second in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris in October and the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita in November. A 4-year-old, Flintshire was beaten a half-length by Main Sequence in the BC Turf.

Trained by Andre Fabre for Juddmonte Farms, Flintshire is part of a field of 12 in the $2,138,690 Vase. Typical of the international races in Hong Kong, the Vase has brought together runners from Asia, Australia, and Europe.

The other contenders are Curren Mirotic, second in the Takarazuka Kinen in Japan in June; Red Cadeaux, second in the Melbourne Cup in Australia last month; and Snow Sky, third in the English St. Leger in September.

Able Friend, the winner of three one-mile stakes in Hong Kong this year, will be a heavy favorite in the $2,981,205 Hong Kong Mile, which drew a field of 11. Gold Fun, second to Able Friend in a Group 2 race in Hong Kong on Nov. 23, looms a threat to the favorite along with Trade Storm, who was third in the BC Mile at Santa Anita for English trainer David Simcock. Trade Storm won the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile in Canada in September.

The day’s richest race is the $3,240,440 Hong Kong Cup, run over 1 1/4 miles on turf.

Cirrus des Aigles, the well-traveled French 8-year-old gelding, makes his fifth start in a Hong Kong International race in an attempt to improve on a third in the 2013 Cup. Cirrus des Aigles won three Group 1 races in England and France this year but was only fifth in the Champion Stakes on heavy turf at Ascot in October.

Designs on Rome, who won the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong in April, may go favored in the Hong Kong Cup.

Aerovelocity and Peniaphobia, sprinters based in Hong Kong, lead the $2,397,926 Hong Kong Sprint over six furlongs but must beat Sole Power, the winner of two Group 1 sprints in England this year; Sterling City, who won the Golden Shaheen in Dubai in March; and Gordon Lord Byron, who won the British Champions Stakes Sprint at Ascot in October.

Brandon Layer More than 1 year ago
Bad idea having these races so close to the Japan Cup. Make it to where horses can run in both.