Hong Kong Mile
The Hong Kong Mile is a Group 1 flat horse race in Hong Kong which is open to thoroughbreds aged three years or older. It is run over a distance of 1,600 metres (about 1 mile) at Sha Tin, and it is scheduled to take place each year in mid December.
The race was first run in 1991, and it was originally titled the Hong Kong International Bowl. Its distance was initially set at 1,400 metres. The event's present title and distance were both introduced in 1999, and the following year it was promoted to Group 1 status.
The Hong Kong Mile is one of the four Hong Kong International Races, and it presently offers a purse of HK$20,000,000 (approximately US$2.5 million).
No hard feelings as Cruz waves goodbye to champion Good Ba Ba
Owner John Yuen Se-kit has switched camps again with ageing champion Good Ba Ba after current trainer Derek Cruz yesterday confirmed the gelding will return to the yard of Andreas Schutz.
The gelding was a high-profile stable change last August from Schutz, who had taken him to multiple Group One wins and a Horse Of the Year award, to Cruz, who took Good Ba Ba to an unprecedented third straight Hong Kong Mile win in December.
Yet Yuen continues to keep everyone on their toes and Cruz was philosophical about the switch, widely rumoured for the past week, which will also include the owner's other horses in training with Cruz, lightly raced Woi Ai Ninn and Good Will, an unraced two-year-old.
'I think I have done my job for Good Ba Ba, I'm still happy that I got the chance to train him,' Cruz (pictured) said from Singapore, where he bids for international glory with Joy And Fun tonight in the KrisFlyer Sprint. 'There are no grudges from me. I got an international Group One win out of him, but if the owner wants to change trainers that is his choice. There was no reason given, but obviously there is a history of trainer and jockey changes with this horse. If he wants to come back then my door is open and I wish Good Ba Ba good luck when he goes back to Andreas.'
Schutz said he and Yuen had parted on good terms and he welcomed the chance to train the eight-year-old again next season.
'It has certainly improved the average rating of my yard,' Schutz said yesterday. 'The horse won't run until next season - the Champions & Chater isn't an option - and his schedule for the first half of the season will be the same as for the last few years. The programming really dictates where he runs, at least until later in the season. I wouldn't be as keen to go 2,000m with the horse, I'd prefer to stay at 1,600m or around it.'
The rumour mill has also suggested Olivier Doleuze, the gelding's regular partner except for two sackings, will also be back on Good Ba Ba when he reappears.