Hong Kong Cup

Hong Kong Cup

Group One Betting Guide
Date: December 12, 2021
Location: Sha Tin Racecourse, Hong Kong
Distance: 2000m
Prize Money: HK$30,000,000

The Hong Kong Cup is the final feature race at the International Meeting at Sha Tin, and it usually features a quality field of runners from all over the world. The 2000m Group 1 race was first run in 1988 and has since attracted world-wide fame and a string of champion winners.

Names such as Jim And Tonic, Fantastic Light, Designs On Rome and 2015 winner A Shin Hikari have graced the Cup in recent history, and since 1990 it has become a race open to horses all over the world. Come 1992, horses from United States, Canada and Japan were allowed to run in the Hong Kong Cup, and that traditional has stood the test of time.

Hong Kong Cup - Sha Tin

Hong Kong Cup betting

The Hong Kong Cup has been won by diverse group that includes a lot of very talented horses, with none more so than the 2020 champion, Maurice. Because there are so many good horses in the country for the Hong Kong International Races (HKIR), it can often be a raffle who wins the Cup.

A good indicator of the key chances in these races is the jockey onboard the horse. If Joao Moreira is in the saddle, you can guarantee his mount is a chance because he generally is given the plumb rides. Many of Australia’s best hoops also make the trip to Hong Kong for the race, including the likes of Hugh Bowman and James McDonald.


United States Sport Table

Sport Table


2021 Hong Kong Cup nominations

2021 Hong Kong Cup Nominations
# Horse Sex Age Trainer
1 Hungry Heart (AUS) M 4 Chris Waller
2 Verry Elleegant (NZ) M 6 Chris Waller
3 Dawn Intello (FR) C 4 Andreas Schutz
4 Ebaiyra (USA) F 4 Alain De Royer Dupre
5 Monty (FR) G 6 Andreas Schutz
6 Rougir (FR) F 3 Cedric Rossi
7 Sealiway (FR) C 3 Cedric Rossi
8 Dubai Honour (IRE) G 3 William Haggas
9 Berlin Tango (GB) G 4 A Cruz
10 C P Brave (FR) G 4 A Millard
11 California Ten (IRE) G 4 A Cruz
12 Champion Dragon (IRE) G 3 A Cruz
13 Columbus County (NZ) G 6 C Fownes
14 Delightful Laos (IRE) G 4 A Cruz
15 Furore (NZ) G 7 A S Cruz
16 Glorious Dragon (IRE) G 6 K Lui
17 Healthy Happy (AUS) G 5 F Lor
18 Panfield (CHI) H 5 A Millard
19 Reliable Team (NZ) G 6 F Lor
20 Russian Emperor (IRE) G 4 D Whyte
21 Sky Darci (NZ) G 5 C Fownes
22 Southern Legend (AUS) G 9 C Fownes
23 Winning Dragon (CHI) G 4 A Cruz
24 Bolshoi Ballet (IRE) C 3 A P O’Brien
25 Broome (IRE) H 5 A P O’Brien
26 Japan (GB) H 5 A P O’Brien
27 La Joconde (IRE) F 3 A P O’Brien
28 La Petite Coco (IRE) F 3 Paddy Twomey
29 Love (IRE) F 4 A P O’Brien
30 Mac Swiney (IRE) C 3 Jim Bolger
31 Santiago (IRE) C 4 A P O’Brien
32 Snowfall (JPN) F 3 A P O’Brien
33 State Of Rest (IRE) C 3 Joseph O’Brien
34 Tarnawa (IRE) M 5 Dermot Weld
35 Thundering Nights (IRE) F 4 Joseph O’Brien
36 Cafe Pharoah (USA) C 4 Noriyuki Hori
37 Curren Bouquetd’or (JPN) M 5 Sakae Kunieda
38 Danon Kingly (JPN) H 5 Kiyoshi Hagiwara
39 Danon The Kid (JPN) C 3 Takayuki Yasuda
40 Gibeon (JPN) H 6 Hideaki Fujiwara
41 Glory Vase (JPN) H 6 Tomohito Ozeki
42 Gran Alegria (JPN) M 5 Kazuo Fujisawa
43 Hishi Iguazu (JPN) H 5 Noriyuki Hori
44 Kiseki (JPN) H 7 Yasuyuki Tsujino
45 Lei Papale (JPN) F 4 Tomokazu Takano
46 Loves Only You (JPN) M 5 Yoshito Yahagi
47 Meiner Virtus (JPN) H 5 Toru Miya
48 Mozu Bello (USA) H 5 Naoyuki Morita
49 Persian Knight (JPN) H 7 Yasutoshi Ikee
50 Salios (JPN) C 4 Noriyuki Hori
51 Stay Foolish (JPN) H 6 Yoshito Yahagi
52 Vin De Garde (JPN) H 5 Hideaki Fujiwara
53 Vollkommen (JPN) G 5 Noriyuki Hori
54 World Premiere (JPN) H 5 Yasuo Tomomichi
55 Hard Too Think (AUS) G 5 Stephen Gray
56 Channel Cat (USA) H 6 Jack Sisteron
57 Gufo (USA) C 4 Christophe Clement

Previous Hong Kong Cup fields

  • No. Horse/Bred Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Odds
    1 Skalleti J Reynier P-C Boudot 4 57 $6.50
    2 Danon Premium M Nakauchida W Buick 6 57 $4.40
    3 Win Bright Y Hatakeyama M Matsuoka 8 57 $8
    4 Furore A Cruz J Moreira 5 57 $3.60
    5 Time Warp A Cruz K Teetan 2 57 $71
    6 Dances With Dragon C Ho C Fownes 7 57 $41
    7 Magical A O’Brien R Moore 1 55.5 $2.90
    8 Normcore K Hagiwara Z Purton 3 55.5 $11
  • No. Horse/Bred Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Odds
    1 Win Bright Y Hatakeyama M Matsuoka 8 57 $5.40
    2 Rise High C Fownes V Ho 3 57 $3.20
    3 Time Warp A S Cruz K Teetan 6 57 $39
    4 Glorious Forever F Lor Z Purton 4 57 $9.80
    5 Dark Dream F Lor D Lane 7 57 $41
    6 Furore F Lor H Bowman 1 57 $3.20
    7 Magic Wand A O’Brien R Moore 2 55.5 $5.90
    8 Edisa A De Royer-Dupre S Pasquier 4 54 $11
  • No. Silks Horse/Bred Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Odds
    1 Horse/Jockey silks icon Sungrazer H Asami J Moreira 6 57 $3.50
    2 Horse/Jockey silks icon Time Warp T Cruz Z Purton 7 57 $5.50
    3 Horse/Jockey silks icon Northern Superstar T Millard K Teetan 9 57 $26
    4 Horse/Jockey silks icon Seasons Bloom D Shum R Moore 4 57 $26
    5 Horse/Jockey silks icon Gold Mount R Gibson O Murphy 5 57 $13
    6 Horse/Jockey silks icon Stormy Antarctic E Walker J Doyle 8 57 $21
    7 Horse/Jockey silks icon Staphanos H Fujiwara W Buick 3 57 $15
    8 Horse/Jockey silks icon Glorious Forever F Lor S de Sousa 1 57 $9
    9 Horse/Jockey silks icon Deirdre M Hashida C Lemaire 2 55.5 $3.80
  • No. Silks Horse/Bred Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Odds
    1 Hong Kong Cup betting tips Deauville A O’Brien Ryan Moore 2 57 $12
    2 Hong Kong Cup betting tips Neorealism Noriyuki Hori J Moreira 1 57 $6
    3 Hong Kong Cup betting tips Poet’s Word Sir M Stoute A Atzeni 12 57 $7
    4 Hong Kong Cup betting tips Werther J Moore Tommy Berry 3 57 $2.80
    5 Hong Kong Cup betting tips Staphanos H Fujiwara J Bowman 8 57 $13
    6 Hong Kong Cup betting tips Secret Weapon C H Yip N Rawiller 11 57 $19
    7 Hong Kong Cup betting tips Robin Of Navan H J Dunlop S Clipperton 4 57 $41
    8 Hong Kong Cup betting tips Garlingari C Barande-Barbe S Pasquier 6 57 $26
    9 Hong Kong Cup betting tips Time Warp A S Cruz Z Purton 5 57 $6
    10 Hong Kong Cup betting tips War Decree A O’Brien J A Heffernan 7 57 $21
    11 Hong Kong Cup betting tips Blonde Me A Balding O Murphy 10 55.5 $21
    12 Hong Kong Cup betting tips Smart Layer R Okubo Y Take 9 55.5 $11

2020 Hong Kong Cup result

Place Horse Price
1st Normcore $10.90
2nd Win Bright $3.05
3rd Magical NTD

Recent Hong Kong Cup winners

  • Having finished fourth in the Hong Kong Mile in 2019, connections of Normcore opted to stretch the mare out the 2000m for a Hong Kong Cup and it proved to be a winning combination. Having settled in the second half of the field, Zac Purton timed his run perfectly aboard the Japanese mare, with the big grey prevailing over the final 100m.
  • Win Bright was able to hold out a fast finishing Magic Wand in a thrilling finish to the 2019 Hong Kong Cup. The pair had paired off in the running just off the pace and looked to both be travelling smoothly when cornering for the run to the judge. Both looked to have been struggling with 200 metres to go, but it was the Japanese galloper Win Bright who was too strong for his rivals over the concluding stages.
  • Glorious Forever completed a clean sweep for the Hong Kong trainers at the 2018 HKIR after a brilliant front-running ride by Silvester de Sousa. Spearing out to an early lead it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the swoopers would descend and eventually run the leader down. It wasn’t the case however as de Sousa hugged the rails and under a vigorous ride found enough in the latter stages to hold off the fast-finishing favourite Dierdre.
  • Time Warp was not well favoured in the market heading into the Hong Kong Cup in 2017 but under a brilliant ride from champion jockey Zac Purton, the horse duly delivered. Taking to the front early in the piece Time Warp produced a powerful and sustained run from the front before kicking away in the straight to win by close to three lengths from Werther.
  • Maurice was having its last start before heading off to stud and it made a great impact on its way out. The Japanese star didn’t jump well with Ryan Moore in the saddle and it was giving A Shin Hikari many lengths into the home straight, but the champion reeled it in quick smart before running away with the victory at the odds-on price of $1.70. Read report here.
  • A Shin Hikari burst onto the world scene when winning the Hong Kong Cup in 2015. The Japanese-trained runner was the fourth Japanese winner of the Hong Kong Cup and the first since Agnes Digital won in 2001. A Shin Hikari paid $26 for the win in what was considered a big upset. It set a strong pace in front and it held on to score by a length in a race record time.
  • Designs Of Rome was a popular winner in 2014 for trainer John Moore and champion jockey Joao Moreira. The son of Holy Roman Emperor was a stylish winner over the likes of Military Attack and Australian runner Criterion. In its usual style, Designs On Rome settle at the rear of the field before producing a big finishing burst down the outside.
  • Akeed Mofeed wasn’t one of the most popular Hong Kong Cup victors in recent history, but the Richard Gibson-trained runner was too good for its rivals in 2013 and it would later represent Hong Kong at the Dubai World Cup. It paid a short price on the tote with bookmakers when holding out Japanese entrant Tokei Halo and Cirrus des Aigles.

Hong Kong Cup records and statistics

The race record belongs to A Shin Hikari, which ran 2:00.60 when winning in 2015. It became the fourth Japanese-trained runner to win the Hong Kong Cup.

California Memory is the only horse to win more than one Hong Kong Cup when Matthew Chadwick was in the saddle, but Frankie Dettori has won three as a jockey.

The Italian champion won aboard Fantastic Light in 2000, Falbrav in 2003 and Ramonti in 2007.

Godolphin trainer Saeed Bin Suroor has won the race twice with Fantastic Light and Ramonti. Local trainer Tony Cruz has also had two victories in consecutive years with California Memory.

Past Hong Kong Cup champions

Year Horse Trainer Jockey Time
1988 Flying Dancer Brian Kan Ping-chee Bartie Leisher 1:48.60
1989 Colonial Chief / Grey Invader Ivan W. Allan / Alvin Clark Tony Cruz / Gary Stewart 1:49.30
1990 Kessem Brian Smith Kevin Moses 1:48.40
1991 River Verdon David Hill Gerald Mosse 1:49.80
1992 Romanee Conti Laurie Laxon Greg Childs 1:48.20
1993 Motivation John Moore John Marshall 1:49.20
1994 State Taj John L Riley Damien Oliver 1:48.40
1995 Fujiyama Kenzan Hideyuki Mori Masayoshi Ebina 1:47.00
1996 First Island Geoff Wragg Michael Hills 1:48.20
1997 Val’s Prince James E Picou Cash Asmussen 1:47.20
1998 Midnight Bet Hiroyuki Nagahama Hiroshi Kawachi 1:46.90
1999 Jim and Tonic Francois Doumen Gerald Mosse 2:01.40
2000 Fantastic Light Saeed bin Suroor Frankie Dettori 2:02.20
2001 Agnes Digital Toshiaki Shirai Hirofumi Shii 2:02.80
2002 Precision David Oughton Michael Kinane 2:07.10
2003 Flabrav Luca Cumani Frankie Dettori 2:00.90
2004 Alexander Goldrun Jim Bolger Kevin Manning 2:03.30
2005 Vengeance Of Rain David E Ferrais Anthony Delpech 2:04.50
2006 Pride Alain de Royer-Dupre Chrisophe Lemaire 2:02.80
2007 Ramonti Saeed Bin Suroor Frankie Dettori 2:00.92
2008 Eagle Mountain Mike de Kock Kevin Shea 2:01.86
2009 Vision d’Etat Eric Libaud Olivier Peslier 2:02.94
2010 Snow Fairy Ed Dunlop Ryan Moore 2:05.57
2011 California Memory Anthony S Cruz Mathew Chadwick 2:03.09
2012 California Memory Anthony S Cruz Mathew Chadwick 2:03.09
2013 Akeed Mofeed Richard Gibson Douglas Whyte 2:01.96
2014 Designs On Rome John Moore Joao Moreira 2:01.96
2015 A Shin Hikari Masanori Sakaguchi Yutaka Take 2:00.60
2016 Maurice Noriyuki Hori Ryan Moore 2:00.95
2017 Time Warp Anthony S. Cruz Zac Purton 2:01.63
2018 Glorious Forever Frankie Lor Silvester de Sousa 2:01.71
2019 Win Bright Yoshihiro Hatakeyama M Matsuoka 2:00.52
2020 Win Bright Yoshihiro Hatakeyama M Matsuoka 2:00.50

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