The experts took the view that California Memory had every chance of repeating his exploits of 2011 and taking home the new Longines Hong Kong Cup. In light of his impressive training sessions, only Saônois seemed capable of contesting the supremacy of this six-year-old gelding. But Antoine Hamelin’s steed never really found his rhythm and was out of the race after 2,000 metres, despite going flat out.
A surprise came from Giofra, whose form recalled her win in the Falmouth Stakes last summer. The filly trained by Alain de Royer Dupré, carrying no more than 55 kg, only lost out by a length, despite Christophe Soumillon urging her on. They were content with a very strong second.
In the Longines Hong Kong Vase, which opened the meeting, Dunaden, the holder, was highly anticipated. But it was the globetrotting Red Cadeaux, who has recovered well from his little jaunt to Japan, who came in barely a head in front of Jaguar Mail.
Red Cadeaux, ridden by the Frenchman Gérald Mossé, won it by a whisker, like the true specialist he is over this distance (2,400 metres).
It should be noted that Méandre did better than expected (third), proving that his disastrous outing in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was just an aberration. The Fabre-Guyon partnership appreciated the ability of the Rothschilds’ protégé.
Longines International Races winners:
Longines Hong Kong Vase: Red Cadeaux
Longines Hong Kong Sprint: Lord Canaloa
Longines Hong Kong Mile: Ambitious Dragon
Longines Hong Kong Cup: California Memory