Sha Tin hosts the final Group 1 flat races of the year, the Longines Hong Kong International Races
, this Sunday. As usual, horses from Europe, Asia, and Australia ship in for the four Group 1 races, billed as the Turf World Championships, with the HK$20 million (about US$2.6 million) Hong Kong Cup the highlight of the afternoon, contested at 2000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles). Thursday was much better with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 60's, which is supposed to stay the same through race day. A form guide with past performances and statistics is available here
Alcopop blew out 400 meters in 25.60 seconds in preparation for the Cup. Trainer Jake Stephens said, "You know, I'm nervous because the horse is going that well. He was good this morning, he might have gone a touch quicker than we wanted but when your horse is carting the rider it's a good sign. Harriet (Leahy) rode him this morning and she had her feet on the dashboard, which you don't often see with him."