02/19/2010 12:00AM

Sacred Kingdom has Hong Kong rivals measured


The task awaiting Sacred Kingdom at Sha Tin on Sunday in the six-furlong Chairman's Sprint Prize, a Hong Kong Group 1 dash valued at $580,000, appears to be a straightforward one. The world's highest rated sprinter, Sacred Kingdom will be facing much the same group of horses he has beaten in his last two starts, when he won the Hong Kong Sprint on Dec. 13 and the Centenary Sprint Cup on Jan. 31.

An Australian-bred 6-year-old trained by Ricky Yiu, Sacred Kingdom will be ridden as usual by Brett Prebble. One World, a half-length second in the Hong Kong Sprint and third in the Centenary, and Centenary runner-up Ultra Fantasy will challenge him again, as will Joy and Fun, who was third in the Hong Kong Sprint and sixth in the Centenary. Green Birdie, fourth in both of those races, is also in the lineup, but the ease with which Sacred Kingdom took the five-furlong Centenary, albeit by just three-quarters of a length, suggests that he should have no problems at his preferred distance of six furlongs.