Horses / Horse News

Nicci Garner
3 minute read
6 Apr 2016
12:41 pm

Whyte to ride Ertijaal in QEII Cup

Nicci Garner

According to the Hong Kong Jockey Club he will arrive in Hong Kong on Saturday 16 April.

Mike de Kock-trained four-year-old Ertijaal (Aus) run in the Grade 1 Audemars Piguet QEII Cup, to be run over 2000m at Sha-Tin in Hong Kong on Sunday 24 April.

According to the Hong Kong Jockey Club he will arrive in Hong Kong on Saturday 16 April.

The race carries a purse of $HK20-million (R38 million) and South African-born Dougie Whyte, multiple Hong Kong champion jockey, has been confirmed for the ride.

Ertijaal, winner of the Grade 1 Investec Cape Derby, ran on strongly for fourth in the Grade 1 Dubai Turf over 1800m and De Kock said: “Ertijaal ran a top race from a wide draw. Douglas Whyte, who replaced Dane O’Neill after Dane was injured at the meeting, told us that Ertijaal could’ve finished in the first two if he was drawn in the first five.

“I had a discussion with his owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. We considered things as they stand and Sheikh Hamdan agreed that we should press forward to Hong Kong.

“Douglas was most impressed (with the Dubai Turf run) and felt that the QEII Cup would be a well-suited race. Ertijaal has really come well the last few weeks, he’s in top form and I believe he is at his best over 2000m.

“Dougie knows his way around Sha-Tin, he’s won the race a few times too.” Whyte was successful on South African trainer Alec Laird’s London News when he scored his groundbreaking QEII Cup win in 1997 and won the race again on Oriental Express (1998) and Ambitious Dragon (2011).

De Kock won the QEII Cup in 2006 with Team Valor’s Irridescence (Weichong Marwing) and again in 2008 with Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s Archipenko (Kevin Shea).

Ertijaal, by Hard Spun, will be accompanied to Hong Kong by assistant trainers Mathew de Kock and Trevor Brown.

The Audemars Piguet QEII Cup became an international Grade 1 event in 2001. The Queen Elizabeth II Cup was established to commemorate a 1975 visit to Hong Kong by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip. The race continued to be run annually each spring. It evolved into an international event in 1995, with Hong Kong horses competing against those representing Australia, France, Japan, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. –

* Harry’s Son, who had been entered in the Champions Mile in Hong Kong on 1 May, will not be making the trip east. He jarred up when finishing 12th in the Dubai Turf and is currently resting at Chantilly in France.

Trainer Paul Lafferty said yesterday: “I’ll be meeting with his owners on Thursday to discuss his future.”

The field for the QEII Cup:

Country / Region Int’l Rating Name of Horse Age Sex Weight Trainer
HK 121 Blazing Speed (GB) 7 g 126 Tony Cruz
IRE 121 Highland Reel (IRE) 4 c 126 Aidan O’Brien
JPN 121 Lovely Day (JPN) 6 h 126 Yasutoshi Ikee
HK 119 Designs On Rome (IRE) 6 g 126 John Moore
HK 119 Military Attack (IRE) 8 g 126 Caspar Fownes
FR 117 Dariyan (FR) 4 c 126 Alain de Royer Dupre
HK 117 Helene Happy Star (IRE) 5 g 126 John Moore
JPN 117 Satono Crown (JPN) 4 c 126 Noriyuki Hori
HK 115 Helene Super Star (USA) 6 g 126 Tony Cruz
UAE 114 Ertijaal (AUS) 4 c 126 Mike de Kock
HK 113 Werther (NZ) 4 g 126 John Moore
HK 111 Horse Of Fortune (SAF) 5 g 126 Tony Millard
JPN 115 Nuovo Record (JPN) 5 m 122 Makoto Saito
AUS 111 Rising Romance (NZ) 5 m 122 David Hayes