The last week has brought about some interesting moves in the Hong Kong Derby rankings but the top 14 is set for its biggest shake-up yet after Sunday’s Hong Kong Classic Mile. 

The Classic Mile is the first leg of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series that continues through the Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) and then on to the Hong Kong Derby on March 19. 

It is a chance for horses to press claims for the big one and for our judges to assess how each of the prospects might handle a step up in distance. 

This week’s new entries to the list are Majestic Colour (13) and Beauty Eternal (14). Lurking just outside of our top 14 at number 15 is Super Sunny Sing, a frontrunner that further pushed his claims with a third straight win on Tuesday. The Chris So-trained four-year-old stepped up to a mile and took care of a strong field. He will now be rated in the low eighties and could sneak into next month’s Classic Cup field, where he can further press his Derby claims.

Majestic Colour 彩虹千里 (74*)

Majestic Colour entered the frame as a Derby dark horse with a smart win at Sha Tin at the Lunar New Year meeting over 1400m. A Winx Guineas winner on the Sunshine Coast in Australia, there are some distance queries, but the son of So You Think did win over 1700m prior to being imported.

Owner Johnson Chen won the 2016 Derby with Werther, and trainer Frankie Lor did it with Furore in 2019; it would be more of a surprise if Majestic Colour did, but he is on an upward trajectory. (*rating yet to be reassessed after win). 

Beauty Eternal 永遠美麗 (74)

It says a lot about trainer John Size’s ability and Beauty Eternal’s brilliance that a horse that won off a rating of 65, over 1200m in January is even making this list. 

No horse has split our voters more: on some lists Beauty Eternal is as high as two, on others he doesn’t appear at all. Those who are leaving Beauty Eternal out are not basing that decision on ability, but stamina and time: if Size can get Beauty Eternal – who has already been scratched from two races this season due to leg problems – to the Derby, let alone win it, it would add to his legend. 

Two of Size’s previous Derby winners Ping Hai Star (2018) and Luger (2015) both overcame unconventional lead-ups and/or setbacks, but most of our judges are betting that Beauty Eternal will not be pushed. 

 

2023 Hong Kong Derby: updated rankings

1. Packing Treadmill 包裝必勝 (93)

2. Beautyverse 美麗宇宙 (88)

3. Keefy 瑪瑙 (100)

4. Sweet Encounter 魅力知遇  (86)

5. Tuchel 自勝者強 (83)

6. Sword Point 知足常樂 (84)

7. Flagship Warrior 旗幟鬥士 (84)

8. Galaxy Witness 喜旺駒 (84)

9. Viva Chaleur 爆熱 (84)

10. Sinba 開心寶貝 (79) ⬆️

11. Bon’s A Pearla一代天嬌 (80) ⬇️

12. La City Blanche 當年情 (80)

13. Majestic Colour 彩虹千里 (74*) ⬆️🚨

14. Beauty Eternal 永遠美麗 (74) ⬆️🚨

Original Hong Kong Derby Rankings

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