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Asian Racing Review: Hong Kong stars to chase Yasuda Kinen glory?

Michael Cox and Andrew Le Jeune dissect the week's happenings in Asian racing as they bring you the latest on possible Yasuda Kinen starts for two Hong Kong stars, and address the 'puzzling' speculation surrounding Joao Moreira's future.

The 1600 metre G1 Yasuda Kinen would seem a highly unlikely international target for Hong Kong’s premier sprinter Lucky Sweynesse, hitherto untried beyond 1400 metres.

“It’s a strange decision to me, to think that you would go to Japan and contest a mile,” said Cox on this week’s episode of Asian Racing Review following confirmation on Wednesday that Manfred Man’s Group 1-winner held an official entry for the Yasuda Kinen on June 4.

But if ever there’s a year to attempt such an audacious Tokyo raid, 2023 might just be it, conceded Cox.

“(It’s) great for the sport, good on you for trying. But tough opposition… we talk about the strength of Japanese horses and all that talent in the staying and middle distance ranks, (but) the mile category at the moment, sprinter-milers? Not so strong. So if there’s (ever) a time to go and contest it…”

Should connections decide to press on to the Yasuda Kinen, Lucky Sweynesse might not be alone on the plane to Tokyo, however, flagged Cox.

“If (Lucky Sweynesse) does go to Tokyo…he might be facing Golden Sixty,” said Cox.

“I spoke to Golden Sixty’s owner Stanley Chan today (and there is) no word yet on Golden Sixty potentially travelling overseas for the first time. Stanley said all of his focus is on this race coming up, the Champions Mile. Once that’s run, they’ll make a decision on whether Golden Sixty presses on to an overseas target.”

Should Chan decide to keep Golden Sixty at home, the two-time Hong Kong Horse of the Year could well be stretched out to the 2400m of the G1 Champions & Chater Cup. Having already secured the Hong Kong Stewards’ Cup and the Hong Kong Gold Cup, victory in the Champions & Chater Cup would see Golden Sixty become Hong Kong’s first Triple Crown champion since River Verdon, the only horse to ever accomplish the feat, in 1994.

Also on this week’s episode of Asian Racing Review:

Sol Oriens stuns in Satsuki Sho; updated Tokyo Yushun rankings (0:00); Japan: a different approach to ‘making’ stallions and the rise of Kitasan Black (3:22); Could Lucky Sweynesse and Golden Sixty clash in the Yasuda Kinen? (6:05); An update from Golden Sixty’s owner Stanley Chan (7:37); Lucky Sweynesse a good fit for The Everest? (8:25); QE II Cup: is Romantic Warrior suffering a ‘peak run’ hangover? (9:21); Call Australia home? The ‘puzzling’ speculation around Joao Moreira’s riding future (12:04); New segment: Retro Replay. A look back at our favourite races of yesteryear, starting with the QE II Cup of 2018 and an enigmatic firebrand named Pakistan Star (16:04).

Watch this week’s episode: 




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