04/06/2005 12:00AM

Pellegrino tries QE II cup


Pellegrino, winner of the Hollywood Turf Cup, will be the lone American challenger in an outstanding renewal of the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong on April 24. The race is the first leg of the World Series Racing Championship.

The $1.79 million, 1 1/4-mile Group 1 turf race has drawn top-class runners from Australia, Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, and South Africa, including two recent winners at Nad Al Sheba in Dubai. Australian invader Elvstroem is fresh from victory in the Dubai Duty Free, while the British-based Phoenix Reach took the Dubai Sheema Classic.

Another Australian, Grand Armee, has already won four Group 1 races this season, while the Irish filly Alexander Goldrun will be returning to the scene of her December triumph in the Hong Kong Cup.

Greys Inn, the South African-based winner of the Dubai City of Gold; the French-trained Touch of Land, who was third in the Hong Kong Cup; and Germany-based Epalo, second in the Man o' War, third in the Arlington Million, and first in the Singapore Airlines International Cup, complete the list of foreign invaders.

The home side includes Group 1 winners Russian Pearl, Bullish Luck, Perfect Partner, Super Kid, and the fast-improving Hong Kong Derby champ, Vengeance of Rain.