Free entries closed on Wednesday for events on Dubai World Cup night with 20 Hong Kong names listed and the desert showpiece has received a boost from the unexpected nomination of champion Australian sprinter, Black Caviar.
Trainer Peter Moody has yet to indicate whether Black Caviar will run in Dubai, where she has been nominated for both the Al Quoz Sprint on turf and Golden Shaheen on Tapeta, on her way to the UK for anticipated Group One sprints at Royal Ascot in mid-year.
However, the entries have opened the way for her to finally clash half a world away from home with the only horse seen as a possible rival in Australia, the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum-owned three-year-old Sepoy, who is expected to run in the Golden Shaheen.
Hong Kong has 20 individual horses entered for Dubai, some of them with multiple entries, and headed by Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon, who has been nominated for both the World Cup over 2,000m on Tapeta and the US$5 million Dubai Duty Free (1,800m) on turf. Other Hong Kong entries for the US$10 million World Cup are the John Moore-trained pair, Dominant and Collection.
Collection has a second entry in the Duty Free, along with California Memory, Flying Blue, Thumbs Up and Xtension.
There are three Hong Kong entries for the US$5 million Dubai Duty Free (2,400m on turf) - Carthage, Irian and Mighty High - and just two for the Al Quoz Sprint over the straight 1,000m course, the 2010 winner Joy And Fun and last Sunday's Centenary Sprint Cup winner Eagle Regiment.
Six Hong Kong-trained sprinters have been entered for the Golden Shaheen, where Lucky Nine heads up Dynamic Blitz, Cerise Cherry, Flying Blue, Sunny King and Frederick Engels.
The Group Two US$1 million Godolphin Mile on Tapeta has not been a serious target for Hong Kong trainers in the past, but there are five entries - Able One, Carthage, Cerise Cherry, Destined For Glory and Military Move.