Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Epic horse race

The false start at the Prix de L'Abbaye on the L'Arc de Triomphe card was especially tragic because we missed the opportunity to watch what might have been a fantastic duel between Overdose, who ran a 54.5 in the cancelled race, and Marchand D'or, clearly the top European sprinter of the current campaign.

There is some good news to look foward to though as there is the possibility of an all-world field at the upcoming Hong Kong International Sprint. With likely confirmations from Sleepless Night (Japanese Sprinters' Stakes winner) and Apache Cat (winner of 5 consecutive Group 1's in Australia), the possible addition of Marchand D'or and Overdose, and hopefully a fully recovered Sacred Kingdom (world champion sprinter last year), this might be the best and most well-represented (globally) field in horseracing history.

Sure, there are many world championship events every year, but how many of them actually feature top quality champions from so many different jurisdictions? While the Dubai World Cup meet probably does the best job, and the Breeders' Cup the worst, in attracting world-class talent from around the world, this might actually top them all if all of these possible entrants show up. The last race to my recollection that had this much quality from around the world was the 1999 Japan Cup, where Japanese champion Special Week took down Hong Kong's best in Indigenous, with High Rise (Epsom Derby winner) and Montjeu (L'Arc winner) in third and fourth.

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