02/18/2008 1:00AM

Sacred Kingdom defeats rival


Sacred Kingdom reaffirmed his position as the world's best sprinter at Sha Tin on Sunday with a convincing 1 1/2-length victory over his arch rival Absolute Champion in the $577,000 Chairman's Sprint Prize, the second leg of Hong Kong's Champion Sprint Series.

Under Gerald Mosse, Sacred Kingdom outkicked Absolute Champion from the quarter pole, covering the six furlongs in 1:08.60 on good ground as the 1-5 favorite.

The victory reversed the short-head loss Sacred Kingdom had suffered at the hands of Absolute Champion in the five-furlong Centenary Sprint Cup. Sacred Kingdom now holds a lifetime 3-1 advantage over Absolute Champion.

The victory sets up an equally mouthwatering duel between Sacred Kingdom and Good Ba Ba in the third leg of the Sprint Series, the Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup on March 16. At 7 furlongs that race shapes up as a classic match between a sprinter stretching out - Sacred Kingdom, versus a miler - Good Ba Ba - cutting back following victories in the Hong Kong Mile and the Stewards Cup.