Hong Kong’s major races for all the quality horses they have drawn down the years, have never been particularly high on the list of pinnacle-stallion-making-races. But the signs are that times, perhaps, are changing.
But in recent years the determination of Japanese interests to target Hong Kong’s lucrative G1 prizes with more of their best colts and entires has started to alter how the races are valued in a breeding context.
Japan, as the rest of the world must by now have realised, is a racehorse-producing powerhouse built upon excellent management of the breed. And Hong Kong has been of real importance for two of Japan’s most exciting young stallions: Maurice’s three power-packed wins at Sha Tin and Lord Kanaloa’s back-to-back displays of awesome speed elevated the global profiles of both.
While Lord Kanaloa has so far remained in situ at Shadai Stallion Station, relying on his incredible daughter Almond Eye to fly the family flag internationally, Maurice has continued to clock air miles, covering mares in hemispheres north and south thanks to a deal between Shadai in Japan and Arrowfield Stud in Australia.
Lord Kanaloa has already managed to get a champion. What Maurice will achieve is as yet unknown, but the initial signs are positive.