11/19/2010 2:41PM

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


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.