Fantastic Light, Samum To Battle for Emirates Series Win in Hong Kong Cup

Fantastic Light, Samum To Battle for Emirates Series Win in Hong Kong Cup
Photo: Associated Press/ Itsuo Inouye
Japan's T.M. Opera O, with jockey Ryuji Wada up, center, after the 4-year-old colt won the Japan Cup at Tokyo Racecourse. Meisho Doto, right, placed second with Fantastic Light (10), ridden by Frankie Dettori, third.
Both Fantastic Light and Samum are currently tied for second in the Emirates World Series Championship with 12 points. However, either of the two could surge ahead of current leader Giant's Causeway (18 points) with a victory in the final race of the series, the Hong Kong Cup on Dec. 17 at Sha Tin. The series winner will earn a bonus of $1 million.

Fantastic Light is owned by Godolphin Racing, whose Daylami won the inaugural Emirates World Series. Fantastic Light scored four series points in his most recent race, a third-place finish in the Japan Cup.

"Fantastic Light ran a very good race in Japan and Sheikh Maktoum is very keen to run him in Hong Kong," said Simon Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager.

Samum earned his 12 points by winning the Grosser Preis Von Baden in September. A 3-year-old son of Monsun, the Andreas Schutz-trained colt has won six of seven career starts, finishing sixth in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barriere in his lone defeat.

Also in the field are Forbidden Apple, Greek Dance, Falcon Flight, Elle Danzig, Hidalguia, Helene Express, Industrialist, Ouzo, Keen Winner, Lord of Warriors, Shogun Lodge, and Jim and Tonic. Charming City is an alternate.

Jim and Tonic, a 6-year-old gelding, seems to have an affinity for the Sha Tin course. In four career races at the Hong Kong track, Jim and Tonic has won three, including a 3 ¾-length win over Running Stag in last year's Hong Kong Cup. His only defeat at the track came in this year's Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup, in which he was beaten by a nose by Mensa. Jim and Tonic has won 11 of 29 career races and earned over $2.8 million. (More, Emirates World Series, Hong Kong Jockey Club)

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