Kingdom back where he belongs
Singapore's senior handicapper Mike Wanklin says Sacred Kingdom is back on top of the world, confirming the Hong Kong star performed to his former 123 international rating in Sunday night's KrisFlyer Sprint.
As the racing world awaits a decision from trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fie and owner Sin Kang-yuk on a possible trip to Royal Ascot next month, Wanklin said Singapore's Kranji racecourse had been the setting for the best sprinting performance in the world in 2009.
'To me, it's pretty obvious how the race has rated up,' said Wanklin, who is also the Singapore Turf Club's vice-president of racing.
'Sacred Kingdom has gone to his old 123 figure, while Rocket Man has run to 122. Diabolical has been another 3 1/2 lengths and that sees him on his established rating of 113, and the fourth horse, Waikato, has run to his rating as well.
'The mathematics of it is pretty straight-forward and I trust my fellow handicappers [on the international panel] will agree.'
Yiu conceded he had not given Ascot's Royal meeting next month much thought previously, but will listen to the advice of Prebble, who believes Sacred Kingdom is only just hitting form and would be too good in the Group One Golden Jubilee Cup.
'We will talk to Brett and have a good think about it,' Yiu promised. 'The good thing is we now know the horse travels. Some horses go the other way - look at Inspiration - but with Sacred Kingdom, he thrived. He was nearly 20 pounds heavier than he is at home and that's very unusual for a horse on a trip away.'
Yiu was questioned about Sacred Kingdom's place on the historical racing order of merit and, after some quiet thought, he said the world champion sprinter must still defer to Fairy King Prawn.
'This is a wonderful sprinter, world class of course, but Fairy King Prawn could do anything,' Yiu said. 'He could win down the straight at 1,000 metres, he beat the best in the world as a sprinter, he won the Yasuda Kinen at a mile in Tokyo and he split Jim And Tonic and Sunline in Dubai at 1,800 metres and should have won. To put Sacred Kingdom above Fairy King Prawn would not be fair.'
Yiu trained Fairy King Prawn to win the Hong Kong Sprint in 1999 but inexplicably lost the horse to Ivan Allan the following year.
Best of the best
Kranji racecourse was the setting for the world's best sprinting display
Singapore's senior handicapper confirmed Sacred Kingdom performed to his former international rating of: 123