Chief executive of ‘The Championships’ Ian Mackay is excited by the number of international horses being aimed at the 2014 Sydney Autumn Carnival with Hong Kong Cup winner Akeed Mofeed also being considered for a trip to Australia.
Hong Kong trainer Richard Gibson said he was very keen to travel overseas with Akeed Mofeed to enhance his stud career after the four year won the Group 1 HK$22m Longines Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on Hong Kong International Race Day last Sunday.
“He’s a very well bred colt. He needed International Group 1 recognition and he’s achieved that today. He’s a very talented horse with a stud future ahead of him and racing abroad beckons but we’ll consider our options before finalising any plans,” Gibson said after Sunday’s win.
Akeed Mofeed is also the winner of the Group 1 US$16m The BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) at Sha Tin in March and is likely to join several other international runners in the Group 1 $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 19.
Regular Melbourne Spring Carnival contenders, French stayer Dunaden and English galloper Red Cadeaux are also targeting the Sydney Autumn Carnival with Japanese horses Lelouch and Hana’s Goal also on the list.
Weight for age horse Lelouch could be aimed at the Group 1 $2.25m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on April 5 and the Group 1 $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 19.
And smart mare Hana’s Goal is likely to be aimed at the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 22 and the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 12.
“When we first launched, there were many that thought we would not get any overseas horses for the carnival,” Mackay said.
“But in the last two weeks, there has been plenty of interest from northern hemisphere trainers and owners and we could have up to five international horses here for autumn which would be a fabulous result for Sydney racing.
“Their main aim is The Championships but there is every chance the overseas horses will also run at Rosehill in races like The BMW, George Ryder Stakes and Coolmore Classic.”
With the news that Gibson was considering a trip to Sydney, bookmakers have marked Akeed Mofeed a $9 chance in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes alongside of Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente and Chris Waller’s latest Group 1 winner Boban on the second line of betting behind Kiwi star It’s A Dundeel, the favourite at $5.