The Group 1 Stewards’ Cup marks the first leg of the Hong Kong Triple Crown on Sunday as we look ahead to a huge day of racing at Sha Tin Racecourse.
Champion miler Golden Sixty will go around as the short-priced favourite in the feature looking to add a second Group 1 after claiming The Hong Kong Mile in a canter last month.
Two other Group 1’s, The Centenary Sprint Cup and The Hong Kong Classic Mile, will also be run and won with enormous value on offer.
Stewards’ Cup Day is always one of the most exciting occasions on the Hong Kong calendar, and you can find our best bets for all 10 races below!
**All times are Hong Kong local**
Race 1 - 1:00pm
Class 4 Handicap (1000m)
Sell My Sole resumes from a spell and has enough race experience on his side to figure in the finish.
John Size’s lightly-raced four-year-old found the placings first-up at Happy Valley back in September and he once again has the experienced hands of Joao Moreira in the saddle.
He’s found the placings in three of his five starts to date and should be fit enough having had three trials in the leadup.
1 Unit Sell My Sole
Race 2 - 1:30pm
Class 4 Handicap (1800m)
Family Leader won well first-up over the mile and has hardly put a foot wrong in his more recent starts.
The Caspar Fownes-trained six-year-old ran a big race for third last start behind Leading Fortune land the way he finished off suggests he’s looking for further now.
He’s won previously over the 1800m and he should get a lovely run in transit. Joao Moreira rode him to his first-up win and is back in the saddle for another crack.
1 Unit Family Leader
Race 3 - 2:00pm
Class 4 Handicap (1400m)
Fortune Master smashed the clock to win his maiden last month over the track and distance and is more than capable of going on with it.
The son of Brazen Beau is resuming off a 35-day let-up and has drawn to track the speed from barrier five with Vincent Ho back in the saddle.
Ho has plenty of experience on the four-year-old and he should be finishing over the top of some of these with even luck.
1 Unit E/W Fortune Master
Race 4 - 2:30pm
Class 3 Handicap (1400m)
Sea Of Life can make it two in a row after winning comfortably over the 1200m last start in this same class.
The son of Sebring will carry one extra 3.5kg around on Sunday, but Vincent Ho proved the difference on him two weeks ago and there’s nothing to suggest he can’t win again.
Barrier five should see the pair get back nice and early, so look for him late.
2 Units Sea Of Life
Race 5 - 3:00pm
The Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m)
Wishful Thinker won the Group 2 Premier Bowl three runs back over the track and trip and now gets his chance to add a Group 1 to the resume.
The gelding by I Am Invincible ran an eye-catching fourth last time out in the Hong Kong Sprint where he finished less than a length behind the upset winner Danon Smash, and while he doesn’t win out of turn, he does look capable of improving on that effort.
Three-time Hong Kong Group 1 winner Christophe Soumillon in the saddle is also a big tick.
2 Units Wishful Thinker
Race 6 - 3:35pm
Class 3 Handicap (2000m)
Entrusted rarely runs a bad race over this trip and is sure to improve on his last start third behind Super Football over the mile.
The Irish raider has mixed his form this time in work, but he gets the added luxury of Antoine Hamelin back in the saddle.
The champion jock rode five winners this time last week and has plenty of options at his disposal here from barrier seven.
2 Units Entrusted
Race 7 - 4:05pm
The Stewards’ Cup (1600m)
Golden Sixty is easily one of the top milers in the world as he not only shoots for his 12th consecutive win, but also his second Group 1.
His outstanding two-length win last start in the Hong Kong Mile reads extremely well for this contest, especially jumping from a similar alley under winning jockey Vincent Ho.
The son of Medaglia D’oro is well deserving of the short-priced quote and looks extremely tough to back against in this small field.
Southern Legend does look the main danger though coming out of the same race for second.
The son of Not A Single Doubt has found the money in three of his five starts this time in work, while he also spoiled Beauty Generation’s party in last year’s Champions Mile.
3 Units Golden Sixty
Race 8 - 4:40pm
The Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m)
This looks to be the most exciting Group 1 on the program with a case to be made for a few of these four-year-olds.
Sky Darci has a class edge over most of these having just finished runner-up to Champion’s Way in the Group 3 Challenge Cup over a touch shorter.
Caspar Fownes’ gelding scored himself a hat-trick earlier in his prep and also has a win to his name over the track and trip.
Healthy Happy has won four of his eight starts to date, which includes a narrow win over this distance last month. He’s capable of going on with it if Vincent Ho can offset the wide draw early.
Enrich Delight is next best after winning here quite comfortably first-up.
2 Units Sky Darci
Race 9 - 5:15pm
Class 2 Handicap (1800m)
Reliable Team was no match over this same distance in Group 3 January Cup, but he should find this much easier stepping back to a Class 2.
The son of Reliable Man found the money two back at this level over further and will be afforded all the favours here with Zac Purton booked to ride.
He should make his own luck up on the speed and take some serious running down.
2 Units Reliable Team
Race 10 - 5:50pm
Class 3 Handicap (1200m)
Big Fortune has found the money in all four of his starts this time in work and is capable of improving on his last start third over the track and trip.
Jerry Chau has found the money three times previously on the six-year-old and he should have plenty to work with here from barrier seven.
The old boy loves races over this distance and he rates highly to figure in the finish at decent odds.
1 Unit E/W Big Fortune