Mike de Kock-trained four-year-old Ertijaal (Aus) run in the Grade 1 Audemars Piguet QEII Cup, to be run over 2000m at Sha-Tin in Hong Kong on Sunday 24 April.
According to the Hong Kong Jockey Club he will arrive in Hong Kong on Saturday 16 April.
The race carries a purse of $HK20-million (R38 million) and South African-born Dougie Whyte, multiple Hong Kong champion jockey, has been confirmed for the ride.
Ertijaal, winner of the Grade 1 Investec Cape Derby, ran on strongly for fourth in the Grade 1 Dubai Turf over 1800m and De Kock said: “Ertijaal ran a top race from a wide draw. Douglas Whyte, who replaced Dane O’Neill after Dane was injured at the meeting, told us that Ertijaal could’ve finished in the first two if he was drawn in the first five.
“I had a discussion with his owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. We considered things as they stand and Sheikh Hamdan agreed that we should press forward to Hong Kong.
“Douglas was most impressed (with the Dubai Turf run) and felt that the QEII Cup would be a well-suited race. Ertijaal has really come well the last few weeks, he’s in top form and I believe he is at his best over 2000m.
“Dougie knows his way around Sha-Tin, he’s won the race a few times too.” Whyte was successful on South African trainer Alec Laird’s London News when he scored his groundbreaking QEII Cup win in 1997 and won the race again on Oriental Express (1998) and Ambitious Dragon (2011).
De Kock won the QEII Cup in 2006 with Team Valor’s Irridescence (Weichong Marwing) and again in 2008 with Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s Archipenko (Kevin Shea).
Ertijaal, by Hard Spun, will be accompanied to Hong Kong by assistant trainers Mathew de Kock and Trevor Brown.
The Audemars Piguet QEII Cup became an international Grade 1 event in 2001. The Queen Elizabeth II Cup was established to commemorate a 1975 visit to Hong Kong by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip. The race continued to be run annually each spring. It evolved into an international event in 1995, with Hong Kong horses competing against those representing Australia, France, Japan, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. – mikedekockracing.com
* Harry’s Son, who had been entered in the Champions Mile in Hong Kong on 1 May, will not be making the trip east. He jarred up when finishing 12th in the Dubai Turf and is currently resting at Chantilly in France.
Trainer Paul Lafferty said yesterday: “I’ll be meeting with his owners on Thursday to discuss his future.”
The field for the QEII Cup:
|Country / Region||Int’l Rating||Name of Horse||Age||Sex||Weight||Trainer|
|HK||121||Blazing Speed (GB)||7||g||126||Tony Cruz|
|IRE||121||Highland Reel (IRE)||4||c||126||Aidan O’Brien|
|JPN||121||Lovely Day (JPN)||6||h||126||Yasutoshi Ikee|
|HK||119||Designs On Rome (IRE)||6||g||126||John Moore|
|HK||119||Military Attack (IRE)||8||g||126||Caspar Fownes|
|FR||117||Dariyan (FR)||4||c||126||Alain de Royer Dupre|
|HK||117||Helene Happy Star (IRE)||5||g||126||John Moore|
|JPN||117||Satono Crown (JPN)||4||c||126||Noriyuki Hori|
|HK||115||Helene Super Star (USA)||6||g||126||Tony Cruz|
|UAE||114||Ertijaal (AUS)||4||c||126||Mike de Kock|
|HK||113||Werther (NZ)||4||g||126||John Moore|
|HK||111||Horse Of Fortune (SAF)||5||g||126||Tony Millard|
|JPN||115||Nuovo Record (JPN)||5||m||122||Makoto Saito|
|AUS||111||Rising Romance (NZ)||5||m||122||David Hayes|
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