HONG Kong stages its big end-of-year Group 1 international meeting at Sha Tin tomorrow and the vibe on the ground is that this time around the 26 local runners might have their work cut out against 29 overseas invitees.

Ireland’s invading Free Eagle, Highland Reel and Sole Power will be doing their bit to take a slice or three of the meeting’s €9.7 million in total purse money and end an 11-year blank stretching back to Alexander Goldrun’s 2004 Hong Kong Cup win.