11/19/2010 2:41PM

Sacred Kingdom, Rocket Man face off in Jockey Club Sprint at Sha Tin

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The Far East’s two best sprinters, Sacred Kingdom and Rocket Man, clash at Sha Tin on Sunday in the Group 2, $387,000 Jockey Club Sprint, the local prep for the Dec. 12 Hong Kong Sprint, at which the Carl O’Callaghan-trained Kinsale King is being aimed.

Trained by Ricky Yiu, Sacred Kingdom has won his last four races. That string began with his second triumph in last year’s six-furlong, Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint and concluded with a victory in the five-furlong Sha Tin Sprint Trophy on Oct. 1. Brett Prebble will ride the Australian-bred 7-year-old gelding in the six-furlong dash.

Trained by Patrick Shaw in Singapore, the Australian-bred Rocket Man was a half-length second to Kinsale King in the Dubai Golden Shaheen on the Tapeta surface at Meydan on March 27, since then he has won the six-furlong Lion City Cup at Kranji and finished a neck second to the Hong Kong-trained Green Birdie in the six-furlong KrisFlyer International Sprint at the same track most recently on May 16. Felix Coetzee will ride him for the first time on Sunday.

◗ Hong Kong veterans Viva Pataca and Good Ba Ba both look vulnerable in the Group 2, $387,000 Jockey Club Mile. Champion Hong Kong miler Able One and Thumbs Up, who beat Able One by three-quarters of a length last time while receiving seven pounds in the one-mile, Group 3 Sha Tin Trophy, are both in much better form.