A total of four Japanese-trained runners will try their luck in the HK$23 million Longines Hong Kong Mile, in which Able Friend’s recent one-sided victory in the prelude should make him a short-priced favourite.
Able Friend leads a strong home contingent, which also includes the last two winners of the race, Glorious Days (2013) and Ambitious Dragon (2012), as well as Hong Kong’s champion miler of last season Gold-Fun, who was runner-up in the race last year.
Qatari-owned globetrotter Trade Storm is a seasoned campaigner coming off a third in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, which followed a win in the Woodbine Mile in Canada, but he and the quartet of Japanese entrants face a stiff task to break the sequence of eight straight local victories.
The first of the Japanese runners has already arrived, Hana’s Goal. She was a Group One winner in Australia earlier this year, and made no impact when a travel-weary ninth in Sunday's Group Two lead-up at Sha Tin. She will be joined by runner-up in the recent Kyoto Mile Championships, Fiero, as well as World Ace and Grand Prix Boss, who was unplaced in this race two years ago.