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Japanese champ out of the Hong Kong Cup

Steve Bennett in News 30 Nov 2019
  • Illness robs Hong Kong of seeing Japanese star in action
Almond Eye - Out of the Hong Kong Cup (PA Images)

In yet another blow to the Hong Kong International Races (HKIR), Almond Eye has been withdrawn from the Hong Kong Cup through illness.

After political unrest throughout the city, then the withdrawal of Aiden O’Brien’s runners from the series, this was the last thing that Hong Kong racing needed on the eve of their biggest event on the racing calendar.

Unfortunately, Almond Eye developed an elevated temperature in the final week of her preparation for the trip and plans have had to be changed.



The multiple Group One winning mare (who was in quarantine at the time) was all set for her journey to Hong Kong where she was due to arrive early on Sunday morning (HK time) with other Japanese runners.

However, this set-back has forced connections to make a change of plans.

Trainer, Sakae Kunieda was very remorse in a statement he released.

“For those who were looking forward to it, I’m really sorry,” he said.

Silk Racing chief executive Masashi Yonemoto said they opted to take a cautious approach with their superstar who will be sent to the spelling paddock.

Jockey Club chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges stated he was disappointed with Almond Eye’s withdrawal, but understood the difficulties that come with travelling horses.

“There is no question that this is a disappointment to a lot of people, starting with the many people close to her and also including racing fans all over the world and a lot of people at the club who worked hard to make Hong Kong her preferred destination this December” he said.

The four-year-old was a very firm $1.40 favourite to take out Hong Kong’s richest race event, however with her withdrawal this now leaves the event wide open.

Former New Zealand galloper Furore now heads the market at $2.80 with Ladbrokes just ahead of Magic Wand $3.40 and Win Bright on the third line at $4.80.


Furore - the new favourite for the Hong Kong Cup 


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Japanese champ out of the Hong Kong Cup

In yet another blow to the Hong Kong International Races (HKIR), Almond Eye has been withdrawn from the Hong Kong Cup through illness.

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