So the Hong Kong season is in its final throes. Well, not quite – there are still 17 meetings and nine weeks until the closing meeting, but with the Audemars Piguet QE II Cup, Champions Mile and Chairman’s Sprint Prize over, the most significant parts of the term are done and dusted.
The Audemars Piguet QEII Cup is the premier middle distance horse racing feature of the Hong Kong spring, run over 2,000m in late April. First run in 1975 to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth to Happy Valley, it became an international race in 1995 and was promoted to international Group One status in 2001. With big global owners like Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum's Godolphin (Overbury, 1996), Team Valor (Irridescence, 2006), Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum (Archipenko, 2008) and Sunday Racing (Rulership, 2012) sitting alongside locals like Larry Yung Chi-kin (Oriental Express, 1998), Ronald Arculli (River Dancer, 2004), Johnson Lam Pui-hung (Ambitious Dragon, 2011) and Cheng Keung-fai (Designs On Rome, 2014), it is a race that has achieved prominence on the world stage.