Sprint King wins HK Centenary Cup

Sacred Kingdom confirmed his rating as the world’s champion sprinter with another blistering victory in the Group 1 Centenary Sprint Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday.  He clocked 55.37s for 1000 metres.

The Centenary Sprint Cup was also a triumph for Coolmore champion Encosta de Lago who sired the winner and the runner-up Ultra Fantasy.  Both horses are trained by Ricky Yiu.

Sacred Kingdom (6g Encosta de Lago – Courtroom Sweetie by Zeditave) is the highest rated sprinter in the world today.   He was bred in Victoria by Kornong Stud owner Noel Calvert and sold for $200,000 at the 2005 Melbourne Inglis Premier Sale.

Sacred Kingdom won the G1 Hong Kong Sprint for the second time in December and his prizemoney has now soared through the AUD 5 million barrier.  He has won 14 of 22 starts.

Ultra Fantasy (7g Encosta De Lago – Belle Anglaise by Sir Ivor) set a fast pace but had no answer when Brett Prebble unleashed the winner at the 300m mark.

“He’s a little lazy so I gave him three smacks to keep his mind on his job,” Prebble said.  “Then he lengthened and his ability told in the end.  He is the best sprinter in the world, after all.”

Sacred Kingdom was rated joint leading sprinter in the 2009 World Rankings alongside Scenic Blast.  He earned a rating of 122 with a dazzling victory in the KrisFlyer International Sprint in Singapore last May.

Sacred Kingdom has led the sprint category since winning it for the first time in 2007.  He was joint top sprinter again in 2008 with Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Midnight Lute.

The world champion’s dam Courtroom Sweetie is a Sydney winning sister to Love Of Mary, a G2 winner of the VRC Edward Manifold Stakes and MVRC Champagne Stakes.

After Sacred Kingdom, she foaled Honour Man (Choisir) who has won two races to date in Macau.  He was followed by Sweeten The Deal (Fastnet Rock), an unraced 3yo who was a $350,000 buy for Gai Waterhouse at the 2008 Inglis Easter yearling sale.

Courtroom Sweetie then delivered two fillies by Elvstroem but missed to Encosta de Lago in 2008.  She was covered by Encosta again last year.

Yiu said Sacred Kingdom’s next mission will be the Chairman’s Sprint Prize on February 21.  “Then there are several races he can contest in Singapore, Dubai or even Japan,” he said.  “We shall see how he goes in the Chairman’s Sprint before making a decision.”