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Hong Kong Sprint: High quality, global field
by Geir Stabell (geir.stabell@globeform.com) / Globeform (http://www.globeform.com)
Last update: 2009-12-07 06:03:09 (First published: 2009-11-29 08:41:04 )


Sha Tin 13 Dec:

Inspiration was an upset winner of this event twelve months ago, and it woulsd be a shock once more were the Australian bred son of Flying Spur to defend his title in the Hong Kong Sprint (G1).

He has a good record over this course and distance, a right-handed, one-turn sprint over 6 furlongs on turf, and he has lifted the prize already, but Inspiration meets a seriously deep field this time. It looks stronger than last year, many will argue it’s stronger than ever. The local champion Sacret Kindom heads an international field, filled with stars. Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner California Flag will have plenty of followers, as will the Australian speedster Scenic Blast and Japan’s recent Group One winner Laurel Guerreiro.


GLOBEFORM RATINGS
THE HONG KONG SPRINT (G1)

Sha Tin 13 December 2009 – 6 furlongs Turf

Horses presented with best Globeform rating sire / trainer.
One length equals about 3lb over this distance.

A “p” after rating indicates improvement expected.

124 – SACRED KINGDOM (Encoste de Lago) / P F Yiu / tba
124 – SCENIC BLAST (Scenic) / D Morton / S Arnold
121 – CALIFORNIA FLAG (Avenue of Flags) / B Koriner / J Talamo
120 – APACHE CAT (Lion Cavern) / G Eurell / D Oliver
118 – ALL SILENT (Belong To Me) / G Begg / N Hall
118 – CANNONBALL (Catienus) / W Ward / R Dominguez
118 – TOTAL GALLERY (Namid) / J S Moore / J Murtagh
118 – BORDERLESCOTT (Compton Place) / R Bastiman / N Callan
117 – LAUREL GUERRERIO (King Halo) / M Kon / S Fujita
117 – WAR ARTIST (Orpen) / J Eustace / tba
116 – INSPIRATION (Flying Spur) / J Moore / tba
115 – GREEN BIRDIE (Catbird) / C Fownes / O Doleuze
114 – JOY AND FUN (Cullen) / D Cruz / B Doyle
112 – ONE WORLD (Danehill Dancer) / J Moore / tba



VALUE BET:

CALIFORNIA FLAG
can be backed at a massive 10-1 with Coral / Eurobet for the HK Sprint, and this looks almost too good to be true. Of course, he will up against better horses here, than what was the case at the Breeders’ Cup, but the way he won the BC Turf Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita suggests that he can handle some of the best turf sprinters in the world these days. Califiornia Flag has developed into a serious racehorse this term, and he made virtually all to beat a solid field at Santa Anita – where leading from start to finish over 6 furlongs at the downhill turf course is almost unheard of. But California Flag did just that, and he had all his opponents in trouble as soon as he turned for home. The filly Gotta Have Her, another course specialist coming into the race in top form, ran on for second – without ever being a serious threat. Cannonball, who had shown such good form at Royal Ascot in the summer (and also runs here), had to settle for third, 2 ˝ lengths behind California Flag, who earned a career best Globeform 121 in the process. His blistering early speed, combined with his ability to keep going right to the wire over six panels, will make the US runner hard to beat.






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