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Sacred Kingdom: champion sprinter returns to action on Sunday

  PICTURE: Getty  

Star sprinter Sacred Kingdom back in action

Preview: Hong Kong, Sunday (8.35am GMT)

Centenary Sprint Cup (Group 1) 5f

DUAL world champion sprinter Sacred Kingdom (Encosta De Lago - Courtroom Sweetie ) returns to action after nearly nine months on the sidelines in Hong Kong on Sunday.

The five-year-old, who has not run since May after suffering a hairline fracture of the sesamoid bone, reappears in the Group 1 Centenary Sprint Cup at Sha Tin, a race in which he was surprisingly beaten 12 months ago by Absolute Champion.

Rivals in the HK$4.5m (£405,000) event are headed by the Flying Spur colt Inspiration, who took advantage of Sacred Kingdom's absence to record a shock 66-1 victory in December's Hong Kong Sprint.

Sacred Kingdom's victory in that race in 2007 was enough for him to be rated the top- sprinter in the world that year, a position he shared with dual Breeders' Cup winner Midnight Lute in this month's World Thoroughbred Rankings.

After a recent barrier trial, trainer Ricky Yiu gave an upbeat assessment of Sacred Kingdom's chances.

"I'm very optimistic Sacred Kingdom will come back to his top form," Yiu told the South China Morning Post. "He just needed a little time. The sesamoid problem looks to be fully recovered and the horse will be even more comfortable when weget him some new shoes for racing."




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