A total of 164 horses hailing from 16 countries, including 39 local entries from Singapore, have emerged from the first round of nominations to Singapore’s two International Group 1 races on 18 May.
The S$3 million Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m) has attracted 92 entries for its 14th running, while its sister race, the S$1 million KrisFlyer International Sprint (1200m) which will be in its ninth renewal, has garnered 72 entries.
Among the leading lights featured in the SIA Cup list are last year’s winner, Hong Kong’s MILITARY ATTACK who shares the highest international rating of 124 with Ireland’s MAGICIAN. A host of Group 1 winners such as Irish Champion Stakes winner THE FUGUE, last Saturday’s South African-bred Jebel Hatta winner VERCINGETORIX, Longines Hong Kong Cup victor AKEED MOFEED, recent Chipping Norton Stakes winner BOBAN from Australia and dual Canadian International champion JOSHUA TREE are amongst the nominees.
Singapore has thrown in the mix 16 of its best middle-distance performers headed by arch-rivals STEPITUP and SUPER NINETYSEVEN, Longines Singapore Gold Cup winner TROPAIOS as well as rising stars JOHNNY GUITAR and HOLY WARRIOR.
The KrisFlyer International Sprint, which will be run as the fourth Leg of the Global Sprint Challenge (GSC) has attracted two past winners in Hong Kong’s LUCKY NINE, triumphant in 2013, along with the Singapore-trained hero of the 2011 edition, ROCKET MAN.
There is no shortage of depth among the visitors in the Sprint race, with some of the quality names including Australia’s triple Group 1 winner MOMENT OF CHANGE, outstanding Irish sprinter GORDON LORD BYRON and Hong Kong’s RICH TAPESTRY, who made a successful raid to Dubai to annex the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal, a prep race for the Group 1 Golden Shaheen.
Besides ROCKET MAN, the home team comprises another 22 of its best sprinters, including the likes of MR BIG, ZAC SPIRIT, EMPEROR MAX, RITE OF SPRING and JOHNNY GUITAR who has been entered for both races at this stage.