Big racing brings big horses. And where big horses go, the cream of the jockeys will follow to compete for the highest honours and richest stakes, and Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup day at Sha Tin is no exception. In fact, the QEII Cup was the race that really launched the career in Hong Kong of South African champion Douglas Whyte. Whyte came to Hong Kong for the first time in 1996-97, landing 50 winners, but the pinnacle was linking with a horse from his homeland, London News, to snare the QEII Cup. Whyte won again the following year for Ivan Allan on Oriental Express in a race which features in the curriculum vitae of some of the world's very best. This year, Japan's legendary Yutaka Take will contest the race on one of the strong favourites, Admire Moon, a horse Take won on in Dubai recently against world class opposition in the Dubai Duty Free. Born on March 15, 1969, Take rode his first winner at 18 in the season he became Japan's champion apprentice jockey. Since then, he has established himself as the undisputed king of the track in Japan, carrying a public status more in keeping with a movie star than a jockey. He has won Japan's jockeys' championship 17 times, won more than 2,500 races and captured every big race his country has to offer, as well as features in Dubai, the United States and Europe, and once rode a world record-equalling 11 winners in a day. Take enjoyed probably his greatest thrill in the past two years, however, being the permanent partner of Deep Impact, the greatest racehorse ever produced in Japan and regarded widely as the best in the world during 2006. A past winner of the International Jockeys Championship at Happy Valley, Take will be out to add the QEII Cup to his lone Hong Kong international victory, the 2001 Hong Kong Vase aboard Stay Gold. What Take is to Japan, Darren Beadman is to Sydney. Despite having stunned the racing world in 1997 when he took two years off at the peak of his career to become a Christian preacher, Beadman has still managed to rack up records to equal Australia's all-time greats. Beadman has ridden more than 80 Group One winners, including his very first Group One ride in the world's richest two-year-old race, the Golden Slipper, and one in France, where he was based at one stage as an apprentice. Beadman, 42, has won the Melbourne Cup twice and almost every major on the Australian calendar at least once, and holds an iron grip on the Sydney championship he has taken seven times. Closely associated with legendary trainer Bart Cummings during the 1990s, when they won a slew of majors together, Beadman has been better known in recent times as stable rider for John Hawkes, for whom his name has been synonymous with champions like Octagonal and Lohnro. He has twice won international races at Sha Tin, taking the Hong Kong Bowl in 1996 and 1997, and will have one of his best chances to add to that with Joyful Winner in the Champions Mile this year. Few jockeys anywhere have the big-race winning flair French rider Gerald Mosse has always displayed, and probably only retired riders Tony Cruz and Basil Marcus have better records in the Hong Kong majors in the past 20 years. As a 22-year-old, Mosse landed Europe's biggest race, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, and made his first tour of duty in Hong Kong soon after, riding for the flamboyant French trainer, Patrick Biancone, with whom he had done his apprenticeship. After a number of successful seasons in Hong Kong, Mosse returned to France for the highly prestigious job as first rider to the Aga Khan. But he remained a frequent visitor to Hong Kong with high class runners in international events, including the great Jim And Tonic on which he won the 1999 QEII Cup, as well as a Hong Kong Cup and Hong Kong Bowl, and returned to ride full time in Hong Kong again in 2001. Mosse has ridden more than 400 winners in Hong Kong, and at the top level his career record shows victories in all the French classic events, three Hong Kong Derbies as well as more Hong Kong international races than any other rider. Two years ago, Mosse was responsible for a piece of horse-borne genius on Bullish Luck which brought the unbeaten run of Silent Witness to a close in the Champions Mile, and that race is probably where his greatest hope lies on the QEII Cup card, when he rides this year's Hong Kong Derby runner-up, Floral Pegasus. Anthony Delpech, 38, got the thrill of his riding career when he piloted Vengeance Of Rain to victory in the world's joint-richest race on turf, the Dubai Sheema Classic, last month. Nothing can come between Delpech and the horse he regards as the greatest he has ever ridden and they will be a formidable force as they seek a second QEII Cup victory to go with their 2005 success. The pair have now combined for six Group One victories, including all three of the most important 2,000m events on the Hong Kong calendar. The South African was a prolific winner of major and minor races in his native country. He twice won the nation's most prestigious event, the Durban July, and was twice champion rider, amassing an incredible 333 victories for his 1998 title, which remains a record. Since his move to Hong Kong in 2003-04 season, Delpech has won more than a century of local events but has really made an indelible mark with Vengeance Of Rain.