The 2018 Hong Kong Cup is the final Group 1 event that will be held at Sha Tin on Saturday night and is always one of the highlights of the night.
The Japanese dominate Hong Kong Cup betting and the market suggests that this is a two horse race between Sungrazer and Deirdre.
Will the Japanese get the job done in the Hong Kong Cup again or will there be an upset?
We have analysed all nine runners in the field and our complete 2018 Hong Kong Cup tips can be found below.
Sungrazer is deserving of his status as favourite in Hong Kong Cup betting. He finished second behind Rey De Oro in the Tenno Sho at Tokyo in October and before that he scored an excellent win in The Sapporo Kinen. He is yet to record a win at Group 1 level, but he is a horse of the highest quality and he has the benefit of Joao Moreira in the saddle. The Deep Impact entire will prove extremely tough to beat.
Time Warp will defend his Hong Kong Cup title after winning 12 months ago. He is a horse that is capable of producing a high-rating effort on his day, but consistency is a big issue. Two of his three efforts this campaign have been extremely poor and it is tough to back him off his performance in the Jockey Club Cup.
Northern Superstar made his Hong Kong racing debut with a credible performance in The Chevalier Cup. He started his career in South Africa and he was a Group 1 winner over there, but it is rare for that form to translate on the global stage.
Seasons Bloom has been stepped up to 2000 metres for the Hong Kong Cup following his fifth place finish in the Jockey Club Mile at Sha Tin last start. He won the Stewards Cup over a mile earlier this year, but I think he is still a level below the Japanese duo and even a firing Time Warp.
Gold Mount finished fourth behind Eagle Way in the Jockey Club Cup and that does look around his right level. I don’t think that he has the upside to win a race of this quality.
Stormy Antarctic has been sent to Hong Kong after a busy year in Europe. He is still chasing a maiden Group 1 victory, but he does have form around the likes of Benbatl and Roaring Lion after strong efforts in the Grosser Dallmayr Preis and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot. I think that he is the main danger to the Japanese duo and the $21 that is currently available is well and truly over the odds.
Staphanos is back for yet another crack in Hong Kong. He finished fourth in this race 12 months ago, but I’m not sure that he is going as well in 2018. The Deep Impact entire was soundly beaten in the Tenno Sho and it is tough to see him turning-the-tables on the likes of Sungrazer.
Glorious Forever is a horse with upside, but he would need to go to a whole other level to be a genuine winning chance in the Hong Kong Cup. He was soundly beaten in the Jockey Club Cup at Sha Tin last start and he is yet to show anything to suggest that he is capable of winning at this level. The $9 currently available is well and truly under the odds.
Deirdre is the main danger to Sungrazer. She won the Hokkaido Shimbun Hai Queen Stakes at Sapporo earlier in the year and she absolutely savaged the line to claim an impressive victory in the Fuchu Himba Stakes at Tokyo last start. Luck in running is the key for Deirdre and her racing style means that she will have plenty of horses in front of her at the top of the straight. I can’t get her as short as her current price, but there is no doubt she is right in this race.