The 2015 Hong Kong Vase barrier draw has been conducted and Australian-trained hopeful Preferment will jump from the second half of the field after being allocated barrier ten.
Preferment has generally been ridden cold during his racing career to date and jockey Hugh Bowman will now be expected to attempt to slot the Zabeel entire in towards the tail of the field in the early stages of the race.
The Chris Waller-trained entire stamped himself as a stayer with promise when he took out the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) last November and he was able to deliver on that potential with a string of impressive performances during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.
Preferment returned to winning form with a strong victory in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on September 19 and he shortened significantly in Melbourne Cup betting markets after he took out the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4.
He was caught in the wrong part of the track when he finished ninth behind stablemate Winx in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 and he was one of a number of horses that never had a chance in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 3.
Last year’s winner Flintshire is set to start the Hong Kong Vase as a dominant favourite and he has drawn barrier eight for the Group 1 event that will be held at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Flintshire has not missed the placings in his six race starts since he took out the Hong Kong Vase last year and he took out the Group 1 Sword Dancer Stakes (2414m) at Saratoga on August 29 before he finished a game second behind Golden Horn in the Group 1 Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe (2400m).
Cox Plate runner Highland Reel will also start in the second half of the Hong Kong Vase field when he jumps from barrier nine, while the likes of Harbour Master (barrier 11), Cirrus Des Aigles (barrier 12) and Cannock Chase (barrier 13) will all likely need some luck in running.
One of the big winners of the 2015 Hong Kong Vase barrier draw was local hope Dominant, who will jump from barrier two.
Dominant took out the Hong Kong Vase in 2013 and he struggled to replicate that form since, but he finished second in The Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) at Sha Tin on May 31 and he was far from disgraced when fifth in the Group 2 Jockey Club Cup (2000m) at the same venue on November 21.
Other key Hong Kong Vase barrier draws include Helene Super Star (barrier one), Helene Happy Star (barrier five), Ensuring (barrier four), Ming Dynasty (barrier three) and Dariyan (barrier six).