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Picture : Charles Dickens was last seen winning the Gr 1 weight for age Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge in scintillating style on June 10. (Photo: Candiese Lenferna)

The first prize for the future of the superstar Charles Dickens will be to have a tilt at either, or both, of the lucrative international mile races in Hong Kong.

There was good news recently as far as equine exports go with the EU audit done last year on AHS control in South Africa having culminated in a positive report. 
Trainer Candice Bass-Robinson said she was “desperately waiting” on further news and added, “Then I can take him to race in Hong Kong.”
The first feasible race for him on the island will be the Gr 1 HK$22 million FWD Champions Mile in Hong Kong in late April.
HK$22 million is a cool R53.9 million at the current exchange rate, so the go ahead for direct travel to Europe followed by the horse then being treated like a European horse is being awaited with much anticipation.
The Gr 1 Hong Kong Mile on Longines International Races day, which is staged every December, is even more lucrative. The stake this year will be HK$32 million (R78.4 million). It might be even more next year, which is the earliest possible date Charles Dickens will be able to take part.
Charles Dickens arrived back at his Milnerton yard yesterday (Monday) after a deserved holiday on the farm.
He is the highest rated horse in the country and it will be a surprise if he is not crowned Equus Champion Three-year-old male and Equus Champion Miler at the Equus Awards on August 23.
He topped the points table for the three-year-old male award and his two Gr 1 wins included an open weight for age mile, so he should oust See It Again, whose two Gr 1 wins were age restricted events. 
Charles Dickens was only in fourth place on the points table for the Equus Champion Miler award, because age restricted races do not count. However, few would argue against him being the best miler in the land, so he should win both of the voting parts of the award.   
Candice said she would “not really” be nervous before the announcement of the Equus Horse Of The Year Award and added,  “We would love to get it but it is tricky as a case can be made for either one of them (Princess Calla being the other chief contender) and it is what it is.”
Princess Calla topped the points table on 174 points compared to Charles Dickens 144. However, Charles Dickens is a popular horse with the public, so that vote will be close, and the result might hinge on the expert vote. 
Charles Dickens has not been seen since winning the Gr 1 Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge in scintillating fashion on June 10 at Hollywodbets Greyville.
Candice said as he had not raced for a while she might bring him back in the Gr 3 Matchem Stakes over 1400m at Hollywoodbets Durbanville on September 30.
The Trippi colt will then likely follow the traditional route for a top older racehorse of the Gr 2 WSB Green Point Stakes over 1600m at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on December 3 followed by the Gr 1 weight for age (wfa) L’Ormarins King’s Plate over 1600m in early January.
She hinted the Hollywoodbets Durban July might be a possibility this season, which indicates he might well line up in the Gr 1 wfa WSB Met over 2000m in late January.