Dragon holds sway in confused market
The leading players in betting are pretty much the same names among overseas bookmakers operating on the QEII Cup, but the openness of the race has been reflected in the differences of order and magnitude of favouritism.
In England, Corals posted the first prices with Ambitious Dragon a firm 2-1 favourite ahead of Wigmore Hall (4-1), River Jetez (9-2) and California Memory (6-1), then Stan James went up 3-1 Ambitious Dragon, and 7-2 for Wigmore Hall and River Jetez.
William Hill did not even have the Derby winner as favourite, posting him 4-1 behind River Jetez and Wigmore Hall as 7-2 equal favourites and California Memory at 5-1.
The other visitor, Gitano Hernando, has been quoted a comfortable 12-1 due to the query on whether he is as good on turf as artificial surfaces.
But, away from the most frequent four favourites, punters will find some surprisingly generous odds, as is usually the case with the international events in Hong Kong, with the form of which races the operators are often unfamiliar.
John Moore's primary runner, Irian, is as much as 12-1 with some bookmakers even after the decent draw, while evergreen Viva Pataca has been quoted generally as a 20-1 chance to make it three QEII Cups - remarkably the same odds as the relatively unachieved Packing Winner.
King Dancer, runner-up to California Memory in the Gold Cup, has been almost totally overlooked by the bookies after his trip to Dubai and is 33-1, while the horse Moore has nominated as the dark horse of his foursome, Destined For Glory, is available at an enticing 66-1 at Stan James.