The Hong Kong Jockey Club was looking forward to a mouthwatering clash in this year's Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup after Industrial Pioneer booked his place in the international Group One showpiece with yesterday's Gold Cup victory. 'The QE II looks as if it will be the best 2,000-metre race ever run in Hong Kong,' said Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, the Club's director of racing. 'We hope we will have Sunline, Northerly and Universal Prince from the southern hemisphere, as well as Banks Hill from France, and the Japanese horses Agnes Digital and Eishin Preston. You couldn't ask for a better line-up than that. 'It will tough for the Hong Kong horses, but Industrial Pioneer showed today that he is back to his best and he will be a worthy contender in the QE II Cup. It was good to see last year's Derby winner run so well and the Derby form overall looks very good with Helene Vitality and Momentum both running well today.' Following the Japanese three-timer at December's International meeting, Engelbrecht-Bresges said the connections of both Agnes Digital, the Hong Kong Cup winner, and Hong Kong Mile hero Eishin Preston were keen to return for the April 21 race, which is part of the World Series for the first time this year. 'Agnes Digital is scheduled to run in Dubai next month and then come here for the QE II Cup, while Eishin Preston will come straight here from Japan,' he said. Sunline, the 2000 Hong Kong Mile winner, is on course to have her swansong in the 2,000-metre event with the opportunity of revenge over Northerly, who denied her a Cox Plate hat-trick in Melbourne in October. AJC Derby winner Universal Prince, who finished unplaced in that race, is also a likely runner before heading to the Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji on May 11. Engelbrecht-Bresges said: 'It would be fabulous to have Sunline here again and the signs at the moment are that she will come here. We have also had encouraging talks with the connections of Northerly and Universal Prince, who was third in a Group One in Sydney on Saturday.' The Andre Fabre-trained Banks Hill, the highly-rated filly who won the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf in November, is set to head the European contingent. 'The trainer is keen for her to run here, but the final decision is with her owner, Khalid Abdullah. She would be a very interesting runner,' Engelbrecht-Bresges added. The World Series, which was expanded this year to 14 races to include the QE II Cup and the Singapore race, is likely to start without a sponsor following a fruitless search to replace Emirates Airlines, the origninal backer. But Engelbrecht-Bresges said the Jockey Club was able to cope with the extra financial burden of staging the race despite the lack of sponsor support for the series.