Lord Kanaloa certainly capable of rare double
Meanwhile, away with the established top-liners, kudos to Japan's Lord Kanaloa.
It is a rare beast able to win Group One races at 1,200m and also at a 1,600m level as high as the Yasuda Kinen and it's certainly an outstanding early prospect for the Longines December internationals that we may see him here for the Hong Kong Mile.
Winning at international level is tough in the first place, which is why so many who do it are absolute specialists at the particular distance in which they excel. The difficulties of travelling and winning at the elite level only multiply once the distances get mixed as well.
We can go back to 1999 to find the only horse able to win twice on international day over different distances in the feature events and that was French star Jim And Tonic, the 1998 Hong Kong Bowl winner at 1,400m, who returned 12 months later to land the Cup over 2,000m.
Japan's Eishin Preston did win international races over different distances here, but it wasn't quite the same job - he won the Hong Kong Mile and then two QE II Cups.
Fairy King Prawn went the closest to the achievement Lord Kanaloa will be chasing - he won the Sprint in 1999 then was nudged out in a photo by Sunline in that epic Hong Kong Mile duel the following year.
Silent Witness might well have been able to do it had he not misplaced his engine after returning from his Sprinters' Stakes win in Tokyo, as his only two runs at 1,600m were world-class, but that we shall never know and Lord Kanaloa has done it.
The lead-up planned for him at the end of the year makes interesting reading, too, as his trainer has pencilled in a defence of his Sprinters' Stakes crown over 1,200m as Lord Kanaloa's campaign going into the Mile.
But horses like Lord Kanaloa probably make the scheduling easier - the five-year-old stallion just seems to hold his form all year round no matter what his aim.