Hong Kong Classic Cup Preview
The Hong Kong Classic Cup is a Group 1 four year old Thoroughbred set weights horse race in Hong Kong, run over a distance of 1800 metres. The first three finishers in this race have priority to run in the Hong Kong Derby, which is the most prestigious race on the domestic racing calendar.
1. Pakistan Star
2. Rapper Dragon
3. Beauty Generation
Rapper Dragon is in prime condition leading into Sunday’s (19 February) Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) according to trainer John Moore, who has every confidence that the season’s standout four-year-old has what it takes to maintain superiority over his peers.
“He’s in top, top form!” Moore enthused this morning. “Everything has gone smoothly since his last run in the Classic Mile – it’s all plain sailing for him in his work. He’ll gallop on Thursday on the grass – all of mine will.”
Pakistan Star continues to be a point of focus, the horse that gained internet stardom with searing late bursts from the tail was bustled forward from the break at his most recent start, the Hong Kong Classic Mile, in which he boxed on to finish three and three quarter lengths fifth behind Rapper Dragon, the Cup gives Pakistan Star another furlong which will suit the late finishing style.
“He’s in cracking form and we’ll just hope for a bit of luck when he runs,” de Sousa said. “I was very happy with him (in the trial); he did everything I asked him for, so I’m delighted.”
The Classic Cup has produced an ample share of surprise results and so far only Floral Pegasus (2007) and Sun Jewellery (2016) have sealed wins in the first two legs of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series.
As well as Rapper Dragon and Beauty Generation, Moore also has the G1 Queensland Derby one-two Eagle Way and Rodrico engaged in the Classic Cup, while three others with BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) aspirations, Booming Delight, Let Us Win and Helene Charisma, will line up in the afternoon’s Class 2 over 2000m.
“I couldn’t be happier with these four-year-olds,” the handler said. “I have a very talented bunch of horses going into these big races now, with a new brigade ready to take over from the old brigade. These new horses we’ve bought are a very talented bunch and they’re going to be Hong Kong’s elite in the near future and that’s great for the Moore stable and great for Hong Kong racing.”
The Hong Kong Classic Cup is the second leg of the three-race Four-Year-Old Classic Series, which climaxes on Sunday, 19 March with the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m).