The final Group 1 of the Hong Kong International Race-day is the Hong Kong Cup (2000m). Over the past three editions of the race, it’s been the Japanese that have produced the winner with Love Only You, Normcore and Win Bright all saluting in this great race. A very competitive field of 12 are set to line up here with six Hong Kong locals, five Japanese, and a lone European looking to take out the HK$34,000,000 on offer.
Online betting sites have James McDonald’s mount Romantic Warrior the favourite here at around the $3 mark after his enormous effort to win first-up in the Jockey Club Cup. Then it’s all about the Japanese runners here with Jack D’or ($4.20), Panthalassa ($5) and Danon The Kid ($8) all finding themselves in the single figures. The lone UK galloper Order of Australia ($34) is the clear outsider of the overseas contingent while there’s yet to be a move for the local hopes outside of the favourite.
On paper this speed map looks hectic with plenty of go forward horse’s here. Panthalassa (barrier eight), Money Catcher (barrier four) and Ka Ying Star (barrier nine) will all be shooting out of the gates try and find the rail to lead. Jack D’or should be prominent and get the back of the speed drawn barrier-two, while race favourite Romantic Warrior will look to be three pairs back and finding cover early on. We think this field could well be strung out so even some wider drawn horses can still find some cover mid-field or worse, so if you like something drawn wider it shouldn’t be too much of a deterrent.
Continue reading for HorseBetting’s preview and $100 betting strategy for the 2022 Hong Kong Cup.
Although the Hong Kong Cup looks one of the tougher Group 1’s of the afternoon, we’re keen to be strong on the side of the Japanese colt Panthalassa. His form is nothing short of phenomenal and his style of racing is electrifying, if you don’t get excited by the prospect of a horse that just loves to put a space on his rivals, look away now cause that’s exactly what this son of Lord Kanaloa will be looking to do. Despite a stack of speed in the race Panthalassa won’t go down without a fight, just as he did in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) at Tokyo on October 30. He left his rivals chasing from the 600m pole and didn’t look like he was going to stop before Equinox spoiled the party right on the winning post. Prior to that he did the same thing against race rival Jack D’or at Sapporo and was only beaten a lip on that occasion as well. You know exactly what you’re going to get from this guy, plus he’s ultra-consistent and if he can reproduce his peak of winning the Dubai Turf back in March, he’s going to take some chasing down and we don’t think they will.
If there is one horse to chase down our top pick, it’s got to be Romantic Warrior. The tempo is this race is going to suit his pattern of racing with James McDonald looking to pass some tiring horses turning for home. His win first-up was impressive enough but going back to his win in the Group 1 QEII Cup at Sha Tin on April 24 was just as eye-catching and from there you knew this horse had plenty of progression. He can win this race provided he finds cover mid-race, and while this is a much better field than what he faced first-up, Romantic Warrior rates to be a winning hope.
Lei Papale comes into this race with good enough form to say she can find the minor placings. She was luckless in last year’s edition of the race when finding nothing but backsides in the home straight against eventual winner Loves Only You. She matched motors with race rival Danon The Kid at Tokyo on October 9 so the price discrepancy leaves her over the odds and we wouldn’t talk you out of an each-way play there.
Jack D’or rounds out the top four and it’s purely on the speed map, he rates to get the perfect run, but with some tiring horses falling in his lap we can see him getting caught up in between horses. If he does get out with time to spare you’ve got to think on his best form, he’s a winning hope.