Connections of world champion sprinter Sacred Kingdom are considering a Japan Group One option for the horse at the end of March as an alternative to racing in Dubai. The dual Hong Kong Sprint winner will have a pipe opener at this morning's Sha Tin barrier trials before he tackles the first domestic Group One sprint, the Kent & Curwen Centenary Sprint Cup, over 1,000 metres, on Sunday week. Trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fai said yesterday that the six-year-old would also be set for the Chairman's Sprint Prize on February 21, but his options after that were still open and he may not tackle the third leg of the Hong Kong Speed Series, the Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup, over 1,400 metres, on March 14. With Dubai's World Cup at the new Meydan racecourse on March 27, the US$1 million Alquoz Sprint on turf has been added to the programme, and the US$2 million Golden Shaheen, formerly on dirt, will be on the new tapeta surface, but Yiu said connections were not keen to go there with Sacred Kingdom. 'The turf sprint in Dubai is only a Group Three, so we don't think it's the right idea to drop Sacred Kingdom back from Group One level to that,' Yiu explained. 'And the Group One sprint is on a new surface, an all-weather kind of surface, and we don't really know much about it or how it would suit the horse. Add to that the seven-hour flight involved in the travelling and Dubai is probably out of our calculations.' However, the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, over 1,200 metres, at Nagoya's Chukyo track is a real option on the same weekend. 'We are giving it some thought. The timing looks good because the KrisFlyer in Singapore is seven weeks later and he will be able to run in that too,' Yiu said. 'Plus the race in Japan is a Group One and the prize money is good and Japan is not so far to go.' One of only two Group One sprints on the Japanese calendar, the Takamatsunomiya Kinen is run left-handed, like Singapore, and was won last year by Laurel Guerreiro, who has finished well beaten in his two attempts on the Hong Kong Sprint. Yiu reported that Sacred Kingdom was in good form heading to the Centenary Sprint, which has been a bogey race for him. He was narrowly beaten at long odds on two years ago and finishing fourth last year when making his return from a long injury lay-off. 'The horse is good, he's fresh and the trial is to keep him happy,' he said. Meanwhile, the Jockey Club yesterday announced top Australian jockey Craig Williams will be riding at Sha Tin on Sunday week - he has been booked to ride John Size-trained Tuscan Spirit in the Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Classic Mile and in the Derby Trial and Derby if he runs in those races, too.