Dubai's Super Saturday gives Hong Kong runners hope
While we are thinking international, some of Hong Kong's six-strong team for the Dubai World Cup meeting will have taken encouragement from Super Saturday at Meydan.
As yet, the final composition of the Dubai fields is unknown, so there may be many horses to come for the main events which were not have been around for the traditional lead-up fixture.
That is true of the Golden Shaheen, where Bahrain-trained Krypton Factor was a very good winner of the Mahab Al Shimaal over the same course, but he would be the first winner of both races if he took the Golden Shaheen - Rocket Man, Sepoy, Lucky Nine and probably others will join the fray.
But if the 1,000m sprint lead-up to the Al Quoz Sprint is what Joy And Fun and Eagle Regiment meet on March 30, it might be a race for Hong Kong again.
And the Jebel Hatta, which has been a regular lead-up for the Dubai Duty Free horses in the past, would have lit the imaginations of connections of Xtension, California Memory and most particularly, Ambitious Dragon.
The winner, Master Of Hounds was admirable, and Mike De Kock has won the Jebel Hatta-Duty Free double with Ipi Tombe. However, if that was the best that turns up to the grand final on Saturday fortnight, it's hard to see them living with Ambitious Dragon in any sort of form.
Last year's Duty Free form wasn't good enough to offer a challenge to Ambitious Dragon and California Memory in the QE II Cup, and this year doesn't shape up as being any stronger. Ambitious Dragon is just as good now as then and the level of form he has been in lately at Sha Tin will do the job nicely.
It isn't often that we can muster six runners for a meeting of the standing of the Dubai World Cup, but March 30 might end up a red letter day for Hong Kong's graduation in the world, with the real possibility of more than one victory on foreign soil.
And that has never been done.