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New season beckons for Sha Tin

August 18, 2013 - Along with fellow Hong Kong racecourse Happy Valley, Sha Tin has been an oasis of tranquility since early July when the last racing season came to an end. Regular Hong Kong racing fans are already looking forward to the start of the new 2013/14 racing season on September 8, writes Elliot Slater.

The high-class five-year-old Military Attack ended last campaign with four straight successes, (three of them at the very highest level), and was duly named ‘Horse of the Year’. The John Moore-trained gelding looks sure to prove very hard to beat once again this term at nine and ten furlongs especially if improving again from outstanding racing successes last season that included high profile wins in the Hong Kong Gold Cup (at favourable betting odds of 33/4), the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup, (where he was sent off a fairly unconsidered 105/10 shot in the pre-race betting), then a superb three-and-a-half length success in the Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji sealed the deal on him being confirmed as Asian horse racing’s newest star.

Lucky Nine was last term’s leading sprinter landing impressive victories in two Group 1 contests – one at Sha Tin and the other at Kranji. The gelded son of Dubawi is set to be back again for more this coming season. The top Hong Kong miler title went to Ambitious Dragon, who got the better of his old rival Glorious Days to win the Group 1 Hong Kong Mile and the seven furlong Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup.

The champion stayer last term was the ex-French racer California Memory, trained by Tony Cruz, who after finishing a gallant runner-up to Military Attack over 10 furlongs stepped up to a mile-and-a-half for the Group 1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup in May, and duly scored at racing odds of 51/20 to secure his place on the honours board.

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