Flintshire is currently available at 2015 Hong Kong Vase odds of $2.70 and last year’s winner is set to start the Group 1 event at Sha Tin on Sunday as a clear favourite.
Flintshire has only recorded one race win since he took out the Hong Kong Vase 12 months ago, but he has form around some of the best horses in the world and he finished in the placings in the Group 1 Sheema Classic (2410m) at Meydan on March 28, the Group 1 Coronation Cup (2423m) at Epsom Downs on June 6, the Group 1 Grand Prix De Saint-Cloud (2400m) in France on June 28 and the Group 1 Prix De l’Arc De Triomphe (2400m) at Longchamp on October 4.
Preferment is the only Australian-trained representative in the 2015 Hong Kong Vase field and he is currently on the second line of betting at a quote of $5.50.
The Zabeel entire took out the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and this preparation he scored impressive wins in both the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on September 19 and the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4 before he had no luck whatsoever in both the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 and the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 3.
Preferment is locked on the second line of Hong Kong Vase betting markets with Coolmore-owned Highland Reel, who has not been seen at the races since he finished a credible third behind Winx and Criterion in the Cox Plate.
Highland Reel has the chance to record a second win at Group 1 level following his victory in the Group 1 Secretariat Stakes (2012m) at Arlington earlier this year, but there are question marks over his ability to run out a strong 2400 metres.
The only other horse that is available at single figure 2015 Hong Kong Vase odds is Cannock Chase, who is one of only two horses that will take winning form into the Group 1 event.
Cannock Chase failed to fire in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (2011m) at Royal Ascot on June 17, but he produced an improved performance in the Group 3 Winter Hill Stakes (2018m) at Windsor on August 29 before he went on to win the Listed Godolphin Stakes (2414m) at Newmarket on September 25 and the Group 1 Canadian International Stakes (2414m) at Woodbine on October 18.
There has been a sprinkling of support in the Hong Kong Vase betting market with Ladbrokes for Cirrus Des Aigles ($31 into $26), Harbour Master ($81 into $67) and Ensuring ($81 into $67), while Helene Super Star ($17 out to $21) has been on the drift.