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2012 Longines Hong Kong Cup and Mile

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California Memory wins the 2012 Hong Kong Cup
California Memory wins the 2012 Longines Hong Kong Cup

California Memory wins the 2012 Longines Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse

© Steve Queen
December 9, 2012

The highlight of the Longines Hong Kong International Races and the richest horse race in Hong Kong is the HK$22 million ($2.8 million U.S.) Hong Kong Cup (G1). Hong Kong Jockey Club CEO Winfried Englebrecht-Bresges said, "We have been trying to establish the Turf World Championships brand and today's event has been a tremendous and truly international competition if you look at the winners having connections from the UK, Japan and Hong Kong. It was a great day of racing, and from the financial and attendance point of view it was tremendous. It was our highest attendance since our International Races all became Group 1 in 2002."

Defending champion California Memory was sent off as the 8-5 favorite off his win in the Jockey Club Cup (G2), the main local prep for this race. In to challenge him included 9-2 second choice Carlton House, fourth in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (G1) at Ascot, and 5-1 third choice Zaidan, off his third place finish in the Jockey Club Cup.

Jockey Neil Callan sent 33-1 Dan Excel to the lead first time by and he set fractions of 26.67, 52.59, and 1:17.42 while stalked by Zaidan and 13-1 Autumn Gold. 66-1 Feuerblitz, fifth early, moved up to challenge at the 1/2 mile pole, but Dan Excel turned him away at the 1/4 pole through 1 mile in 1:40.25. California Memory, fourth early while saving ground, came out for room and closed with a rush through the final 3/16 to win by a length over 22-1 Giofra in 2:03.09. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to 20-1 Alcopop third.

Results chart from HKJC with video replay

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