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The Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby – Sunday.

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  • #7059
    MDeering
    Member
    • Total Posts 1688

    For a regular follower of the the exceptional Hong Kong racing season, the Hong Kong Derby would be known to them as a potent yardstick towards future local champions of Sha Tin.

    The list is long. Previous winners such as Football, Co-Tack, Yuno When and River Verdon have gone to become Horse of the Year. In more recent intalments of the Derby we have witnessed Vengeance Of Rain, Lucky Owners, Viva Pataca, Elegant Fashion and Olympic Express salute the judge. It continues to uphold tradition around the world, that the Derby is the race that everyone wants to win – wherever a Derby is run on this earth.

    Most punters and horsemen on here would be delighted to know that Helene Mascot is favourite for this year’s running of the Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby. Prior to purchase, he was better known as Salford Mill, Newmarket Stakes winner and Vodafone Derby sixth.

    There was high praise for the colt and his first appearance on new soil was in the HK-Group 1 Hong Kong Classic Mile, victorious by a neck.

    Take Helene Mascot’s breeding and known ability as Salford Mill into a 2000m Derby, and there is my slight query. Any speed to make for a genuinely run Derby and he could find the 2000m too short.

    Green Birdie is next in the markets – he was a former Australian-trained racehorse and let me tell you, he was a sprinter through and through. Has the best turn-of-foot in this field but 2000m is just too far.

    My top pick is Jackpot Delight, formally Hamlet’s Ghost in New Zealand. This was the race that trainer Caspar Fownes was eyeing off at the time of signing the dotted line for Hamlet’s Ghost to be shipped to Honkers. He was the most exciting horse in the previous season gone in New Zealand, going undefeated in six starts but relegated to fourth on debut due to interference.

    His first outing on the Sha Tin track was in a trial with some classy horses including Royal Delight – his late turn-of-foot was scintillating. I have been waiting patiently for this moment for him to show off his abilities in the Derby.

    The other danger horse is Danesis – an interesting sort. On top of his game he destroys fields and when not, he is below average. The gelding is a rapid improver and deserves his place as a potential upset. The set weights category may take him out of favour against the more proven types.

    Also featured on Sunday (early morning GMT) is the HK-Group 1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup over 1400m – with a mouth-watering clash between world champion sprinter Sacred Kingdom and Hong Kong Mile winner Good Ba Ba. Joining them is the much-awaited return of Armada, another potential star miler who has not raced in almost exactly 1 year. He could not rally to see off The Duke in the 2006 Hong Kong Mile and lost by a head.

    #150467
    Richard Hoiles
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    • Total Posts 197

    Helene’s problem is he is tough to settle.

    Far too keen in the trial so steady pace would be worry as can get him fired up.

    #151729
    Richard Hoiles
    Member
    • Total Posts 197

    Great to see Felix get his Derby on Helene Mascot.

    Really strong pace helped a lot and once he was through that 50m flat spot the horse he was always holding Jackpot – who ran well, the pair clear.
    UK name was Salford Mill for those to whom it would mean more.

    #151736
    davidjohnson
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    • Total Posts 4491

    Anyone know what success Doctor Brown has had in HK? His form worked out really well when you consider he finished in front of the likes of Prime Defender and Cockney Rebel at York and Excellent Art at Newbury. I think he was renamed Helene Brilliant.

    #151743
    Richard Hoiles
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    • Total Posts 197
    #151745
    seabird
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2924

    BTW, Richard, congrats on a some great work at Cheltenham.

    Colin

    #151748
    davidjohnson
    Member
    • Total Posts 4491

    Thanks Richard. No surprise he proved a good thing off 96 on his first start out there!

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