A large contingent of Victorian bred and sired horses will be on international racing’s biggest stage this weekend when they line up at Sha Tin, Hong Kong.

With close on AU$16 million on offer across ten races, including four highly lucrative Group 1 races, Victorian breeders can potentially be the beneficiaries of Sunday’s results.

Among the 22 Victorian bred and/or sired horses are a couple of up and coming superstars along with some fascinating Hong Kong debutants (full list at bottom of page).

Interestingly, 9 of the 22 have been bought at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

Group 1 races

Three Victorian bred horses are among the entrants for the four Group 1 races on the day.

The Gilgai Farm bred Lucky Bubbles will go to the barriers as one of the favourites for the Hong Kong Sprint. A Group 2 winner, he ran a very close 2nd to Chautauqua in May’s Chairman Sprint. A win on Sunday could see Lucky Bubbles move from future star to genuine superstar.

Comment by Andrew Hawkins, hkjc.com: “Lucky Bubbles represents the new generation of Hong Kong sprinters on the rise, having made his way through the grades in the last 12 months to sit at the very top of the tree.”

In the Hong Kong Mile, the Tung family homebred Sun Jewellery lines up. Bred at Briarwood Farm, Cora Lynn (near Pakenham), he is already a dual Group 1 winner and was crowned the Champion Victorian Bred International Racehorse last year. He previously raced in Australia as Tan Tat Star and was trained by Peter Moody.

Comment by Andrew Hawkins, hkjc.com: “He is yet to prove himself against the older horses, but he gives the impression that it is just a matter of time.”

Gun Pit, bred at Barnwartha in North East Victoria by Tony and Kellie Smeaton, goes into the Hong Kong Cup with a chance, but will have to overcome some of the world’s best middle distance horses such as A Shin Hikari, Maurice and Designs On Rome.

Comment by trainer Caspar Fownes: “Gun Pit is very well, he’s had a good prep leading into the Cup…Obviously, it’s going to be the biggest race he’s tackled and it’s going to be tough for him…I’d like to see him running strongly to the line — he has the ability to fly home and run a very good race.”

Barnawartha bred Gun Pit | credit: Kenneth Chan / SCMP

Barnawartha bred Gun Pit is in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup | credit: Kenneth Chan / SCMP


The opening race of the day includes two Victorian bred horses which raced in Australia but will be making their debuts in Hong Kong.

Burst Away (Bel Esprit), bred by Hayden Kelly at Murchison’s Rushton Park, was previously trained by South Australia’s Jon O’Connor and won twice at Morphettville before being exported.

First Fontein (Turffontein), previously raced (and won) in Australia as Solar Impulse under the care of Patrick Payne. He was bred by Hong Kong’s Vincent Ip at Blue Gum Farm, Benalla.

They will be up against one of Hong Kong’s ‘ boom horses’ in Jing Jing Win, an unbeaten son of Rosemont Stud sire, Starcraft.


Gilgai Farm

Special recognition must be made of Nagambie’s Gilgai Farm. No less than three Gilgai bred horses will line up on this huge international day of racing. The aforementioned Lucky Bubbles is in the Group 1 sprint while Tonyboy and Vanilla are acceptors for undercard races.


Victorian sires

Six current Victorian sires are represented on Hong Kong International Raceday. Rosemont Stud’s Starcraft has four of his progeny lining up including the unbeaten Jing Jing Win and Winner’s Way who won on debut recently at Sha tin.

Woodside Park sire Written Tycoon also has multiple runners including the favoured New Asia Sunrise in race 9. He was bred by Gerard & Kathy Hammond at Millford Thoroughbreds. This is the same partnership that bred recent Group 1 Railway Stakes winner Scales of Justice.


Full list of Victorian bred/sired entrants for Hong Kong International Raceday 2016

Horse nameVictorian SireVictorian BreederVictorian vendor/sale
RACE 1 Silent Witness Hcp (C3) Class 3
2 - Water DivinerEquiano
4 - Jing Jing WinStarcraft
6 - Burst AwayBel EspritMr Hayden KellyRushton Park/Inglis Premier
7 - First FonteinTurffonteinBlue Gum Farm/Mr Vincent IPBlue Gum Farm/Inglis Premier
12 - House Of FunStarcraftHillside ThoroughbredsHillside T'breds/Inglis VOBIS Gold
RACE 2 Fantastic Light Hcp (C3) Class 3
8 - Ho Ho FeelPeter & Catherine TobinPhoenix Broodmare Farm/Inglis Premier
9 - VanillaHostGilgai Farm, Nagambie
10 - Unique HappiestWritten Tycoon
RACE 3 Jim And Tonic Hcp (C3) Class 3
3 - Winner's WayStarcraft
8 - Home RunAustralian Thoroughbred Farm, TallarookSupreme T'breds/Inglis Premier
RACE 5 The Longines Hong Kong Sprint Open Group 1
2 - Lucky BubblesGilgai Farm, NagambieThree Bridges/Inglis Premier
RACE 6 Flying Dancer Hcp (C1) Class 1
1 - Rapper DragonStreet Boss
3 - Lucky YearTara Farm, Torquay
6 - BlizzardStarcraftGSA BloodstockInglis Premier
RACE 7 The Longines Hong Kong Mile Open Group 1
13 - Sun JewelleryTung Family/Briarwood Farm, Cora Lynn
RACE 8 The Longines Hong Kong Cup Open Group 1
7 - Gun PitTony & Kellie Smeaton, BarnawarthaEliza Park/Inglis Premier
RACE 9 Lord Kanaloa Hcp (C2) Class 2
2 - New Asia SunriseWritten TycoonGerard & Kathy Hammond/Millford, AvenelWoodside/MM National Sale
9 - Mr StunningMakybe, GnarwarreMakybe/Inglis Great Southern
10 - Mythical EmperorBel EspritMr RJH Maidment, Mr R N Watson
RACE 10 Eishin Preston Hcp (C2) Class 2
3 - Lucky GirlOnemorenomore
8 - Apollo's ChoiceLauriston Farm, CorinellaLauriston/Inglis Premier
10 - TonyboyGilgai Farm, NagambieGilgai/Inglis Premier


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