Officials at the Hong Kong Jockey Club have extended invitations to the connections of 10 local horses and four foreign-based competitors for the HK$12 million (US$1.55m) G1 Champions Mile on May 4 at Sha Tin Racecourse.
No horse from outside of Hong Kong has been able to take down the Champions Mile, but G2 Godolphin Mile hero Variety Club (SAf) (Var) could be just what the doctor ordered as he makes his first start for the always-dangerous barn of trainer Mike de Kock in the Champions Mile. Previously conditioned by Joey Ramsden, Variety Club was his nation’s Horse of the Year in 2011/2012 with victories in the G1 Cape Guineas and the G1 Gold Challenge S. He also won the 2013 G1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate over the 1600-meter distance and exits a front-running score from a wide draw in the Godolphin Mile Mar. 29.
The Champions Mile is ranked among the IFHA list of the world’s top 50 Group 1 races and the 2014 edition is yet another outstanding race,commented HKJC Executive Director of Racing Bill Nader. As befits a contest of global interest, we have four genuine contenders from overseas that will push this crop of exciting Hong Kong milers to their peak, and perhaps one from this quartet of international challengers has what it takes to end the local dominance.