Joyful Winner and Danacourt to miss the Yasuda Kinen next month Hong Kong's formidable assault on the Group One Yasuda Kinen in Tokyo next month was thrown into disarray at Happy Valley last night when John Moore declared the trip off for Joyful Winner and John Size revealed Danacourt had been rejected by the Japan Racing Association. 'The JRA has told us that because Joyful Winner's international rating is 114, they will not pay any costs but the transport of the horse himself,' Moore explained. 'Apparently, there is a cut-off point at a rating of 115 in order for them to pay the costs for the trainer, jockey, mafoo and so on. We've been told by the JRA that these are the regulations and that's all there is to it, so we won't be going. It's a shame for us and for their race because I think they are missing out on the best miler in Hong Kong.' The John Size-trained Danacourt, who shares with Joyful Winner with the lowest international rating of the five Hong Kong horses touted as Tokyo visitors, said he was not even to the point of worrying about the expenses as a JRA official had told him that Danacourt was not invited to the Yasuda Kinen. 'I asked him about the five horses one by one and he said each was invited until we got to Danacourt,' Size said. 'He was very polite about it but basically they didn't want us.' With question marks still surrounding the participation of Silent Witness and even The Duke, who must please trainer Caspar Fownes in a lead-up race on May 21, the possible team of five may be reduced to Champions Mile winner Bullish Luck alone. It was the highlight news on a Happy Valley card last night that rained roughies, with punters left reeling by the successes of Sunny Desert (45-1), Golden Stride (25-1), Shanghai King (20-1) and Shabu Shabu (20-1). While the Danny Shum Chap-shing-trained Shabu Shabu (Eric Saint-Martin) was a last-start winner in a trophy race prior to his victory in the Hong Kong Football Club Challenge Cup last night, Sunny Desert (Shane Dye) was at the other end of the form scale. Resuming from a long break last week on the all-weather over 1,650m at Sha Tin, Sunny Desert had dropped out almost 15 lengths from Top Honor, and then surprised by gaining a run in last night's 1,200m Kwu Tung Handicap after being a reserve. 'Actually, if the punters watch my pattern of training this season, they could have backed Sunny Desert, I'm sure,' said trainer Andy Leung Ting-wah, after being asked for a 'please explain' by the stewards. 'Five times this season, I have had winners who backed up a week after their last race.' On his view of Sunny Desert's prospects, Leung was expansive. 'He had some arthritis and quite a long break from racing, five, six months before he ran last week over 1,650m,' Leung said. 'But when I looked closely at that race, at the 300m he was still close to the leaders. So he ran a good 1,350 metres but faded in the last part. 'So I remembered that Sunny Desert had run third to Sunbell and Shogun over 1,200m at Happy Valley the only time he tried it three years ago and thought to give him a chance again tonight. 'Propellor was my first stable elect for the race and Sunny Desert second, but when they divided the race, I thought he was a chance to get a run and I booked Shane Dye on Tuesday morning.' The only favourites to win on the card were in the first two races, with Speeding Molly (Marco Chui Kwan-lai) and Greenessy scoring, the latter part of a double for Howard Cheng Yue-tin. Greenessy will now be aimed at the Group One Champions & Chater Cup next start. Jockey Weichong Marwing had a night he would rather forget, standing down from his late rides after a recurrence of an old hip injury then receiving a careless riding ban before he left the course. Marwing was given two days and a $40,000 fine for his ride aboard runner-up Ganbaria in the third. Stewards also opened and adjourned an inquiry into Robbie Fradd's riding of Healthy Fruits (race five) in the early part of the straight.