The three horses from Australian tracks taking part in Sunday’s Hong Kong International races have multiple challenges facing them as they take on the best the world has to offer.
Preferment trainer Chris Waller has concerns regarding whether or not his horse has anything left after Preferment’s Melbourne Cup campaign found him unable to finish any better than 20th. Preferment is competing in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase, where the Zabeel colt is listed as second favourite at $4.50 behind Great Britain’s Flintshire at $2.50.
Last year’s third place finisher in the Caulfield Cup, Lucia Valentina, granddaughter of Zabeel, will need a stellar performance, as six horses in the field of 14 for the world’s richest 2000m turf race, The Hong Kong Cup, are priced shorter than her $12.00.
One of those shorter horses, Criterion, is a t $6.00, but his trainer David Hayes recently lamented that drawing barrier 13 leaves short priced Designs on Rome, jumping from barrier six, and Free Eagle from nine with clear advantages over his horse.
Preferment, Criterion and Lucia Valentia were all foaled in New Zealand. If they are to overcome the fields against them, they will have to draw deeply from the legendary stayer genes for which New Zealand is famous.