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in like Flintshire

At this time of year, the coffers need to be topped up as we all plan a raid on the bookmakers over the Christmas period.

While there are some good jump horses in action over the weekend, they are not really betting prospects at long odds on and while the headline bet is himself only 13/8, he will, hopefully, reward our faith by taking the Hong Kong Vase.

While it would be fantastic to see Jim Bolger head home with the honours, the Hong Kong Mile looks set to make a slightly shorter journey to Europe as Andre Fabre sends out Flintshire in the colours of Prince Khalid Abdullah.

The four-year-old has had a somewhat frustrating, albeit very profitable season, in finishing placed on each of his five starts, four of those being second in races such as the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and the Breeders' Cup Turf.

As well as Parish Hall, Flintshire will also tackle global favourite Red Cadeaux and the Michael Stoute-trained Snow Sky who was third in the St Leger behind Kingston Hill but with a favourable draw in barrier four, Flintshire is the pick at 13/8.

The Hong Kong Sprint is where all the main Irish interests lie and I think both Eddie Lynam and Tom Hogan are in agreement that they each have a horse that is good enough to win the race and it's just a matter of whether or not they have the luck in running to win it or not.

Neither Sole Power or Gordon Lord Byron are bad prices with double figures possibly being available closer to the time but as an each-way bet the Australian Buffering might be worth a shot at around 14/1.

Nobody seems to know when Jamie Spencer is actually going to retire but the likelihood is that David Simcock's Trade Storm is going to be one of his final big rides for Qatar Racing and what a story it would be if he was to win the Hong Kong Mile.

However, while he appears to be giving the right vibes during track work, the locally-trained Able Friend is the flag-bearer despite drawing barrier 11 for the race.

It certainly could be a good night for Joao Moreira as he also rides the former Pat Flynn-trained Designs On Rome in the Hong Kong Cup and hopefully the local Horse Of The Year can further enhance his reputation here.


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