How to bet the Hong Kong Cup

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

December 10th, 2020

Among the four Group 1 events that comprise the Hong Kong International Races at Sha Tin Racecourse, the Hong Kong Cup (G1) looms as the most coveted prize.

The oldest and richest race of the series, the 2,000-meter Hong Kong Cup annually attracts a competitive field of high-class turf stars from around the globe. The 2020 renewal is no exception; although just eight horses have been entered, competition runs deep with runners representing Ireland, France, and Japan joining a capable trio of local runners.

Article Image

Magical workout (Hong Kong Jockey Club)

Many handicappers—particularly those most familiar with U.S. racing—will favor #7 Magical, the globetrotting mare who has accumulated seven Group 1 wins. Trained by Aidan O’Brien, Magical enters off a runner-up effort in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) racing 2,400 meters, a distance arguably longer than her absolute best. Five of her top-level wins have come traveling 2,000 meters, including a gutsy victory over European standout Ghaiyyath in the Sept. 12 Irish Champion (G1).

But Magical has been busy this season, competing almost exclusively against males in Group 1 company, and she ran a hard race in the Breeders’ Cup. If she regresses at all off her strenuous campaign, the door will open for an upset.

I’m intrigued by #3 Win Bright, one of three Japanese raiders in the Hong Kong Cup field. The son of Stay Gold won this race in narrow fashion last season, reiterating the affinity for Sha Tin he displayed when claiming the 2019 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) racing 2,000 meters.

Win Bright’s recent form isn’t overly inspiring, with a 10th-place finish against elite competition in the Tenno Sho Autumn (G1) standing as his latest effort. But similar form last season didn’t prevent Win Bright from bringing his A-game to Sha Tin, so I’m optimistic the return to Hong Kong will trigger a rebound from this capable 6-year-old.

#2 Danon Premium, who finished fourth in the Tenno Sho Autumn after carving out the pace, can vie with local Jockey Club Cup (G2) winner #4 Furore and 2019 Victoria Mile (G1) winner #8 Normcore to round out the top three. We’ll use them in a trifecta keying Win Bright and Magical on top.

  • $3 trifecta: 3,7 with 3,7 with 2,4,8 ($18)
  • $2 trifecta: 3,7 with 2,4,8 with 3,7 ($12)

Total: $30

Good luck!