Japan have won this for the past two years and SNOW DRAGON looks their main hope this time around. The almost white six-year-old overcame a poor draw to land the Group 1 Sprinters' Stakes from today's rival Straight Girl on home soil in October and, though not ideally berthed here, can reward each-way support at decent odds. Lucky Nine is a six-times course and distance winner who won this in 2011 and Caspar Fownes' sprinter showed himself to be world class when landing the Group 1 KrisFlyer at Kranji in May for the second time. He was behind the former Richard-Fahey-trained Peniaphobia here in the warm-up for this last month but didn't get the best of rides and can turn the tables. Brazilian Jaoa Moreira is currently well clear in the jockey's championship here and his mount, Sterling City, was a bit unlucky not to be placed last year and showed his class when landing the Dubai Golden Shaheen in March. Eddie Lynam's Sole Power couldn't get to Japanese super sprinter Lord Kanaloa a year ago but ran a brilliant race to finish runner-up and has continued in superb form with victories in the Nunthorpe and King's Stand Stakes. Spalato is joint-top in the International Ratings with Lucky Nine by virtue of winning six consecutive races in Singapore from 5f to 1m2f. Australian raider Buffering has won 16 races including four at Group 1 level and beat Lucky Nine on home soil last year. But British Champions Sprint winner Gordon Lord Byron could do with some rain and Aerovelocity finished last on his latest start here, though that was obviously not his true form.
Lucky Nine (IRE) (9-2) 5th of 14, 2 1/4l behind Peniaphobia (8-11) at Sha Tin(HK) 6f stk gf in Nov.
Spalato (NZ) (9-2) 13th of 14, 4 1/2l behind Peniaphobia (8-11) at Sha Tin(HK) 6f stk gf in Nov.
Sole Power 13-8fav (9-10) 8th of 18, 1 3/4l behind Move In Time (9-10) at Longchamp(FR) 5f Grp 1 (1) gd in Oct.
Sterling City (AUS) (9-2) 12th of 14, 4 1/2l behind Peniaphobia (8-11) at Sha Tin(HK) 6f stk gf in Nov.
Buffering (AUS) (9-3) won at Moonee Valley(AUS) 6f stk gd in Sep beating Lankan Rupee (9-3) by hd, 5 ran.
Gordon Lord Byron (IRE) 5-1fav (9-2) Tracked leaders on near side rail, strong burst between horses final 100 yards to lead 50 yards out, ran on strongly and won going away, won at Ascot 6f Grp 2 (1) hvy in Oct beating Tropics (9-2) by 1 1/4l, 15 ran.
Snow Dragon (JPN) (9-0) won at Niigata(JPN) 6f Grp 1 (1) fm in Oct, 18 ran.
Peniaphobia (IRE) (8-11) won at Sha Tin(HK) 6f stk gf in Nov beating Smart Volatility (8-11) by 1/2l, 14 ran.
Aerovelocity (NZ) (8-11) last of 14, 5l behind Peniaphobia (8-11) at Sha Tin(HK) 6f stk gf in Nov.
Smart Volatility (AUS) (8-11) 2nd of 14, 1/2l behind Peniaphobia (8-11) at Sha Tin(HK) 6f stk gf in Nov.
Flagship Shine (AUS) (8-11) 3rd of 14, 1 1/2l behind Peniaphobia (8-11) at Sha Tin(HK) 6f stk gf in Nov.
Golden Harvest (8-11) 4th of 14, 1 3/4l behind Peniaphobia (8-11) at Sha Tin(HK) 6f stk gf in Nov.
Straight Girl (JPN) Fuji Kiseki mare out of Never Period.
Little Gerda (USA) (8-7) 4th of 12, 1 1/4l behind Seiko Raiko (8-11) at Niigata(JPN) 5f Grp 3 (1) fm in Aug.