WHAT a weekend it was for Japanese racing and breeding on an international stage. The world focus was on events in Hong Kong, when global challengers gathered for the annual meeting which features four Group 1 races as the centrepiece. Horses trained and bred in Japan claimed the honours on three occasions.

The Epsom Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck and globe-trotting mare Deirdre were among the stars lining up for the mile and half Hong Kong Vase, but only the local runner and Irish-bred Exultant (son of Teofilo bred at Ballygallon Stud) posed a threat to the Japanese domination, with victory going to Glory Vase from Orfevre’s daughter Lucky Lilac.