Aussies Perform On World Stage This Weekend

By: Daniel Costello
September 26th, 2011

Permission has been granted by the Hong Kong Jockey Club for Australian Jockeys Tye Angland and Brett Prebble to be absent from Hong Kong in order to partner Green Birdie and Lucky Nine respectively in the Sprinters Stakes (G1) scheduled to be conducted at Nakayama Racecourse, Tokyo on Sunday, 2 October 2011.

The Sprinters Stakes (1200M G1) carries prize money of JPY 197,600,000 (approx. AUD$2.6 million) and is the richest of the nine races in the prestigious Global Sprint Challenge.

Hong Kong holds a double edged sword with the Caspar Fownes-trained duo, Lucky Nine and Green Birdie, both of whom ran creditably in the lead-up race, the Centaur Stakes (1200M G2), earlier this month.

The local Japanese contingent will include the likes of Dasher Go Go and A Shin Virgo, but all will have to be at their best to beat Singapore’s champion Rocket Man, the highest rated horse in the field.

Meanwhile on the other side of the world the feature of the day will be the running of the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2400M) Europe’s most prestigious event for middle distance horses and the race every horseman dreams of winning.

Defending champion Workforce is bidding to equal back-to-back Arc victories which was last achieved by Alleged 33 years ago. He will be facing a strong challenge from leading French hopes such as Sarafina and Reliable Man as well as the Japanese raiders Hiruno D’Amour and Nakayama Festa.

However, Ex Aussie champ So You Think looks certain to be one of the main challengers. Although not declared jockey Seamie Heffernan should be on board. He has partnered So You Think to 2 of his 3 Group 1 victories since leaving Australia.

Another Group One race on the day is the Qatar Prix de la Foret (1400M) in which European champion mare Goldikova will be making her final appearance in France before looking for a fourth straight win in the Breeders’ Cup Mile in November.

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