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Huge Coup for HKJC: Almond Eye Is Coming
Trainer Sakae Kunieda has confirmed six-time Gr1 winner Almond Eye (Lord Kanaloa-Fusaichi Pandora, by Sunday Silence) will compete in December's showcase event at Sha Tin, reports scmp.com. Kunieda confirmed that one of the most popular horses in the world will target the Gr1 Longines Hong Kong Cup over 2,000m next, in preference to defending her Japan Cup title later this month. "She was a little tired after [the Tenno Sho Autumn] but is recovering smoothly so I consulted with the owner about her next run," he said. "The Japan Cup, which she won last year, was one of the options but I think the Hong Kong Cup is better because there is a little more time between runs. The invitation [from Hong Kong] has arrived safely so I will continue preparations for that race. Christophe Lemaire will maintain the ride." HKJC chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges said, "We are still cautiously optimistic about Almond Eye, some Japanese horses have already accepted. I think so far [the list of horses coming is] pretty satisfactory." Among others from Japan understood to be heading to Hong Kong are QE II Cup hero Win Bright (Stay Gold-Summer Eternity, by Admire Cozzene), globetrotter Deirdre (Harbinger-Reizend, by Special Week) as well as consistent sprinter Danon Smash (Lord Kanaloa-Spinning Wildcat, by Hard Spun). The fields will officially be announced on Wednesday, November 20.