Three Australian trained horses invited to HK

Globetrotting galloper Criterion headlines the three Australian-trained horses set to compete at next month’s Hong Kong International meeting.

The David Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained Criterion and Kris Lees-trained Lucia Valentina have been invited to contest the Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on December 13.

Turnbull Stakes winner Preferment will be Chris Waller’s first Hong Kong runner after he was selected for the Vase (2400m).

The Hong Kong Jockey Club announced the selections for the International races – the Cup, Mile, Sprint and Vase – on Tuesday with a total of 56 entries across the four events including 33 overseas-trained horses.

Criterion has competed twice in Hong Kong in the past 12 months including a third in last year’s Hong Kong Cup.

He also ran third in the QEII Cup at Sha Tin in April before continuing on to England for two starts during the northern hemisphere summer.

Lucia Valentina, a last-start winner of the Matriarch Stakes, is set to be the first international starter for Lees.

Criterion is scheduled to have an exhibition gallop at Moonee Valley on Saturday with Hayes this week saying he expects the last-start Melbourne Cup third placegetter to gallop well ahead of his planned trip to Hong Kong.

Cox Plate third placegetter Highland Reel and Caulfield Cup runner-up Trip To Paris are among the Hong Kong Vase invitees, while French-trained Mackinnon Stakes winner Gailo Chop has been selected to contest the Hong Kong Cup.

There will be no Australian-trained horse in the Sprint after Hawkes Racing ruled out a trip for Chautauqua last week.


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