Lord Kanaloa hot favourite to repeat Hong Kong Sprint Victory
Lord Kanaloa put up a devastating display last year to win the Hong Kong Sprint Trophy by two and a half lengths and is going to be difficult to beat again this year. The five-year-old has won eight of his twelve career starts including the Grade 1 Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama in September.
He had previously suffered a surprising reverse when second to Hakusan Moon at Hanshin but comprehensively overturned that form on his latest start. He looked on good terms with himself when working on the grass on Wednesday and is regarded by many as the banker bet of the meeting.
The Europeans have never won this race but Irish trainer Eddie Lynam has sent his two leading sprinters over this year. Sole Power began the season in great form, winning the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in a thrilling finish with Shea Shea. He found six furlongs beyond him in the July Cup but the faster surface at Sha Tin may give him a chance to get home.
Stable companion Slade Power seems equally effective over five and six furlongs and closed his turf campaign in Europe with victory in the Group 2 British Champions Sprint at Ascot. The going was on the easy side that day but the form has been franked by the second and fifth horses since. He looks the best of the Europeans and could be worth supporting each-way at 12-1.
Robert Cowell’s Jwala stunned punters when winning the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York at odds of 40-1. She had previously finished last at Goodwood but had banged her head leaving the stalls and clearly failed to give her true running. She was not disgraced when fourth on soft ground at Longchamp and connections are optimistic of a decent run.
Lucky Nine has finished behind top Australian sprinter Buffering in his last two races. He was beaten a short head in the Manikato Stakes but disappointed subsequently when only sixth in the VRC Sprint Classic. Lord Kanaloa looks outstanding on form and Slade Power could provide the best each-way alternative.