Walkamia replaces Execute in HK Cup
The Andre Fabre-trained mare, Walkamia has replaced compatriot Execute in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup, 2,000 metres, after the latter failed to please French trainer John Hammond.
The 115-rated seven-year-old Execute had suffered a setback in his preparation, though it was only described as minor.
However, he was reportedly less than 100 per cent in condition in his final gallop before heading for Hong Kong and Hammond has preferred to withdraw the horse from the race rather than run him short of his peak.
Walkamia, rated 111 and likely to be ridden by long term Hong Kong-based jockey Eric Legrix, who has done a lot of riding for Fabre this year, has solid formlines in Europe.
She has not won beyond Group Three level during her career and her primary victory this season was at that level, however the four-year-old mare was third to Hong Kong Cup rival Alexander Goldrun in the high quality Prix de l'Opera at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe meeting in Paris and followed that with second placing in the Premio Lydia Tesio in Rome, behind Lune D'Or, which ran unplaced in the Japan Cup on Sunday.
The Jockey Club has also confirmed that 2003 Canadian International winner, Phoenix Reach will take the vacant slot in the Hong Kong Vase following his excellent sixth in Tokyo and that Aidan O'Brien's Japan Cup flop, Powerscourt, will press on to the Hong Kong Cup despite his dismal showing.
He takes the vacant spot in that race after not being amongst the original invitees.
Champion jockey Douglas Whyte has been booked to ride Australian galloper, Yell, in the Hong Kong Sprint.
Five of the overseas contenders had landed safely up until yesterday afternoon, with the remaining 32 expected to arrive by the close of this weekend.