Japanese stayer Glory Vase must overcome a cosmopolitan array of opponents if he is to win a record third Group One Hong Kong Vase (2,400m) next month.
Glory Vase is one of a number of two-time winners of the Vase but would enter rarefied air with a third success, with Good Ba Ba’s Group One Hong Kong Mile hat-trick making him the only galloper with three victories at the Longines Hong Kong International Races.
Glory Vase won the 2,400m feature under Joao Moreira in 2019 and 2021, and with news the Brazilian plans to compete at this year’s marquee meeting, the dynamic duo could well be reunited.
Glory Vase has only raced twice since saluting at Sha Tin last December, finishing eighth in March’s Group One Dubai Sheema Classic (2,410m) and sixth in the Group Two Sapporo Kinen (2,000m).
Standing between Glory Vase and history is fellow Japanese galloper Win Marilyn, who was a last-start runner-up in the Group One Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2,200m) at Hanshin, and a colourful collection of European stayers.
Aidan O’Brien-trained trio Broome, Bolshoi Ballet and three-year-old Stone Age will make the trip to Sha Tin, with the Irish guru following a similar path with Stone Age as he did with 2020 Vase victor Mogul.
Mogul won the Vase as a three-year-old after heading to Sha Tin via the Group One Breeders’ Cup Turf (2,400m), and Stone Age, who gets a five-pound age allowance, was beaten by only Rebel’s Romance in this year’s edition of that contest.
Bolshoi Ballet is no stranger to Sha Tin after finishing ninth behind Loves Only You in last year’s Group One Hong Kong Cup (2,000m). However, the four-year-old has only had one run since – finishing fourth on the Lingfield all-weather track.
Course record for #5 REBEL'S ROMANCE, who won the @BreedersCup Turf! @the_doyler up for @godolphin and Charlie Appleby.— TVG (@TVG) November 5, 2022
Stone Age second, War Like Goddess third, and Mishriff fourth. pic.twitter.com/Akk6Cu3BoP
A Group One winner in France, Broome also comes through the Breeders’ Cup Turf, finishing sixth at Keeneland after running eighth in October’s Group One Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2,400m).
French colt Bubble Gift also comes out of the Arc, where he was a well-beaten 17th, while the Godolphin-owned Botanik, who is trained by André Fabre, will also represent Les Bleus.
Before finishing 10th in the Group Two Prix Dollar (2,000m) last start, Botanik went on a run of four wins from five starts culminating in a victory over Japanese galloper Stay Foolish in the Group Two Grand Prix de Deauville (2,500m).
Rounding out the international contingent is Germany’s Mendocino, winner of September’s Group One Grosser Preis von Baden (2,400m).
🇩🇪 A tight finish in the G1 Grosser Preis von Baden but Mendocino denies Torquator Tasso.pic.twitter.com/dPq7aNquVJ— TDN (@theTDN) September 4, 2022
The Sarah Steinberg-trained Mendocino beat home 2021 Arc winner Torquator Tasso in that contest before tackling this year’s Arc and finishing 12th.
Panfield, Butterfield and Senor Toba make up the local contingent.
While Tony Millard’s Panfield is a course-and-distance Group One winner after snaring the 2021 Champions & Chater Cup, it is the Caspar Fownes-trained Senor Toba who looks to be entering the race in the best form after running on nicely for third behind Romantic Warrior in Sunday’s Group Two Jockey Club Cup (2,000m).
Butterfield has his final lead-up run in this weekend’s Class One Chevalier Cup (1,600m) at Sha Tin.