Champion sprinter regains crown in Hong Kong

Sacred Kingdom bounced back from a serious bout of colic to score a dominant Group 3 victory in the HKJC Sha Tin Trophy on Friday night.  The champion gelding’s next assignment will be to win his third G1 Hong Kong International Sprint next month.

Sacred Kingdom (Aus) nearly succumbed to colic just before an intended start in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen at Chukyo in March.  Despite being sidelined for more than six months, he returned defeat South African mare Sweet Sanette (Jallad) and Australian bred gelding Vital Flyer (Magic Albert).   The result boosted his record to 16 wins in 24 starts with earnings of HK $38.85 million (AUD 5.15 million).

Jockey Brett Prebble was really looking forward to Sacred Kingdom’s return to racing.  “I couldn’t wait to get back on him on raceday,” he explained.  “I’m privileged and so lucky – not many people get to experience that feeling.  It’s why he is the world’s champion sprinter.”

Sacred Kingdom (7g  Encosta de Lago – Courtroom Sweetie by Zeditave) has been rated on top the World Rankings in the sprint category since in 2007.  He is by a Coolmore champion from a sister to G2 winner Love Of Mary.  The Victorian bred champion was sold by Noel Calvert of Korning Stud for $200,000 at the 2005 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale.  

Sacred Kingdom has flown the Hong Kong flag with distinction since defeating Absolute Champion and Royal Delight the 2007 HK International Sprint.  He missed the 2008 HK International Sprint but trainer Ricky Yiu brought him back last year to win it again from One World and Joy And Fun.

The second International Sprint trophy triggered another winning streak that included the Centenary Sprint, Chairmans Prize and Sprint Trophy prior to the aborted trip to Japan.