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Magical presence

Superstar aims to be O'Brien's top Group 1 winner

Magical is among a stellar line-up of 45 horses selected for the HK$95 million (S$16.5 million) Longines Hong Kong International Races (HKIR) at Sha Tin on Dec 13.

Trainer Aidan O'Brien's superstar mare is just one of 17 Group 1 winners set to compete.

The globetrotting daughter of Galileo is bidding to make history by becoming O'Brien's most prolific Group 1 winner with eight top-level wins.

She is the headliner among a brilliant contingent of 15 overseas raiders aiming at this year's "Turf World Championships".

While the Covid-19 pandemic has created uncertainty around many international racing events, the strength of the international presence in this year's entries confirms that the HKIR remains high on the agenda of international horsemen.

The Longines HKIR is the sport's global year-end spectacular and features the HK$28 million Hong Kong Cup (2,000m), the HK$25 million Hong Kong Mile (1,600m), the HK$22 million Hong Kong Sprint (1,200m) and the HK$20 million Hong Kong Vase (2,400m).

The Cup, Mile and Sprint are the world's richest Group 1 races on turf.

Victory in the Hong Kong Cup would set Magical apart from fellow O'Brien-trained seven-time Group 1-winning champions Rock Of Gibraltar, Minding, Yeats and Highland Reel. - HKJC