THE Hong Kong Cup is one of the most popular betting races anywhere in the world.
Raced at group one level for HK$25,000,000, the 2000m feature is the richest race in Hong Kong and it’s also the richest 2000m turf race in the world.
We have a runner-by-runner betting guide for the upcoming Hong Kong Cup, which includes all the horse details, recent form and our best tips for the big race.
|1. Deauville (2) (IRE)|
|Jockey: Ryan Moore 57kg|
|Trainer: Aidan O’Brien|
|Biggest career win: Group 1 Belmont Derby|
|5yo Bay Horse|
|The four-year-old son of Galileo comes into this race with suspect form, but he’s a smart type at his best.
The Belmont Derby winner was good enough to run in the Dubai Turf where it finished seventh and it has since won the Group 3 Huxley Stakes over race-rival Poet’s Word.
It’s form since might not have been winning form, but he hasn’t been too far away from the likes of Ribchester and considering Poet’s Word is a $7 chance, the value is with Deauville at a better price.
|2. Neorealism (1) (JPN)|
|Jockey: Jaoa Moreira 57kg|
|Trainer: Noriyuki Hori|
|Biggest career win: Group 1 QEII Cup|
|7yo Chestnut Horse|
|Japanese form is extremely strong for the Hong Kong Cup, as we saw in 2016 when Maurice took the honours.
Neorealism is a tough as nails six-year-old which produced consecutive wins this year, including a win in the Group 1 QEII Cup in April, but there were concerning signs last start.
Six months in the spelling paddock might have worked against the son of Neo Universe. It finished 13th in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and it never really got going.
He will improve with that race fitness under his belt, but a ninth in the Hong Kong Mile last year and a poor recent effort at Tokyo is another to steer our attention elsewhere.
|3. Poet’s Word (12) (IRE)|
|Jockey: Andrea Atzeni 57kg|
|Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute|
|Biggest career win: Group 3 Glorious Stakes|
|5yo Bay Horse|
|If European form stacks up well in Hong Kong, Poet’s Word should have every chance to be successful.
The four-year-old is on the improve after winning the Group 3 Glorious Stakes before placing in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes behind Decorated Knight and placing behind Cracksman in the Champion Stakes.
That form is relatively untested at this level in Asia, but it has good staying ability and we wouldn’t be surprised to see it fighting out the finish at each way odds.
|4. Werther (3) (NZ)|
|Jockey: Tommy Berry 57kg|
|Trainer: John Moore|
|Biggest career win: Group 1 Champions & Chater Cup|
|6yo Bay Gelding|
|Werther has every right to be the best-backed runner in the field after winning the Group 2 Jockey Club Cup last start.
The former New Zealand and Australian thoroughbred has been a model of consistency throughout its career, which includes group one wins in the Hong Kong Derby, QEII Cup, Gold Cup and Champions & Chater Cup.
John Moore couldn’t be happier with its progress into the Hong Kong Cup and it should be the testing material over a truly international field.
|6. Secret Weapon (11) (GB)|
|Jockey: Nash Rawiller 57kg|
|Trainer: Dennis Yip|
|Biggest career win: Group 2 Jockey Club Cup|
|8yo Bay Gelding|
|Secret Weapon won the Jockey Club Cup last year before running second in the Hong Kong Cup.
It hasn’t been able to win since, but close up finishes in the Hong Kong Gold Cup and 2017 Jockey Club Cup holds it in good stead for this.
$19 is a touch longer than we were expecting and despite a poor looking form line, it’s a much better chance than its odds suggest.
|7. Robin Of Navan (4) (FR)|
|Jockey: Sam Clipperton 57kg|
|Trainer: Harry Dunlop|
|Biggest career win: Group 1 Criterium de Saint Cloud|
|5yo Chestnut Horse|
|A group one winner in 2015, Robin of Navan created a big upset at that time, but it has been unable to recapture the magic.
It has won only one race since that famous victory, but it did defeat Garlingari in the Group 3 La Coupe.
$34 is a touch over the odds, but a win would surprise.
|8. Garlingari (6) (FR)|
|Jockey: Stephane Pasquier 57kg|
|Trainer: Corine Barande-Barbe|
|Biggest career win: Group 2 Prix Collar|
|5yo Chestnut Horse|
|Garlingari has good form coming into this race, including consecutive wins in France.
The son of Linngari won at group three level before winning the Group 2 Prix Collar at Chantilly last start and that form should stack up nicely.
It has had experience at Sha Tin in the past when running seventh in the 2016 Hong Kong Vase behind Satono Crown. That experience should do it some good and it’s not without a chance of causing an upset.
|9. Time Warp (5) (GB)|
|Jockey: Zac Purton 57kg|
|Trainer: Tony Cruz|
|Biggest career win: Prix de Pontarme|
|5yo Chestnut Gelding|
|Time Warp is making a big leap in grade, but there’s plenty of confidence in the Tony Cruz camp.
The four-year-old has run three consecutive placings, all at group level, but it has never raced at group one level.
It’s second placing behind Werther in the Jockey Club Cup was a good indication of its true ability and it typically takes a good horse to beat the son of Archipenko.
Making the rise to this level is going to be the sticky point for punters, but $6 suggests he’s going to be the acid test for the favourite.
|10. War Decree (7) (USA)|
|Jockey: Seamie Heffernan 56kg|
|Trainer: Aidan O’Brien|
|Biggest career win: Group 2 Vintage Stakes|
|4yo Bay Horse|
|Aidan O’Brien brings another well-travelled runner to Hong Kong with War Decree.
The American-bred three-year-old was a winner of the Group 3 Diamond Stakes in September in Ireland before running ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar.
That performance behind Gun Runner was a touch below its best and facing this level of opposition at such an age could be tricky.
The weight will be in its favour, but a career-best performance is needed for a top-three placing.
|11. Blond Me (10) (IRE)|
|Jockey: Oisin Murphy 55.5kg|
|Trainer: Andrew Balding|
|Biggest career win: Group 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes|
|6yo Chestnut Mare|
|The group one win last start might have only been at Woodbine, but it has form which could stack up well on the world stage.
The European-trained runner finished second behind Winter in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, which is a nice form line coming into this and the well-travelled mare has potential to win here.
She was a winner at group two level earlier this year as well and each way claims are in order.
|12. Smart Layer (9) (JPN)|
|Jockey: Yutaka Take 55.5kg|
|Trainer: Ryuji Okubo|
|Biggest career win: Group 2 Kyoto Daishoten|
|8yo Grey Mare|
|Not one of the most well-known thoroughbreds, Smart Layer has smart form in preparation for this.
The Japanese runner finished sixth in the QEII Cup at Kyoto last start, which came after its win in the Group 2 Kyoto Daishoten in October. That win came over Hong Kong Cup winner Cheval Grand and that form line should be taken seriously.
It has only put in one poor run throughout its entire career and that consistency will make it tough to beat.
$17 at Sportsbet is good value.