Odds-on Sacred Kingdom to maintain his supremacy
The odds will be prohibitive for punting but it is simply impossible to see anything getting the better of Sacred Kingdom in the Centenary Sprint Cup (1,000m) at Sha Tin today as the champion galloper sets down a path of challenging the greats.
As a measure of how comfortable he is with everything, Ricky Yiu Poon-fie will not even be present as the trainer is engaged at the yearling sales in New Zealand but will no doubt find a television screen to watch Sacred Kingdom (Gerald Mosse), whose rival for hearts and minds in the immediate future is Silent Witness rather than the horses lining up against him today.
With Absolute Champion, probably still his main rival, despite not having been as effective up the straight in the past as around a turn and having been under a slight fitness cloud, there looks precious little reason to think that Sacred Kingdom could be beaten.
Having sliced and diced the Hong Kong Sprint field, Sacred Kingdom is now being mentioned in the same awed tones as Silent Witness.
To continue being spoken of that way, he must continue on machine-like in his destruction of whatever is thrown at him, and for some time to come.
Because that's what the truly all-time great horses do. Sacred Kingdom has now moved into the realm of those who can have no excuses, no off days, just deliver as expected - and well expected it will be, as Sacred Kingdom may be a proper Silent Witness price this afternoon.
In five attempts up the straight, Sacred Kingdom has arrived five times, Mosse is unbeaten on him and he doesn't appear to have put a foot wrong in his preparation for the race. Only the great uncertainty of horseracing stands between Sacred Kingdom and the first leg of his first Champion Sprint Series, and the test of the great uncertainty of horseracing can sometimes be the toughest long-term test of all.
If there is to be a shock, perhaps it lies with Absolute Champion's vulnerability up the straight course and whether he fills the quinella spot, but even that would be a tough call to make.