Hong Kong Horseracing News

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Win Bright conquered Sha Tin this afternoon (Sunday, 28 April), powering home in the HK$24 million FWD QEII Cup and lowering the 2000-metre track record.

The grey became the first horse to dip below 1m 59.00s, stopping the clock at 1m 58.81s as he earned a first top level win. Yoshihiro Hatakeyama’s five-year-old became the latest Japanese raider to make the QEII Cup honour roll, following Eishin Preston (2002 & 2003), Rulership (2012) and Neorealism (2017).

The first eight horses dipped below two minutes, just 14 months after Time Warp – 11th today after attempting to make all – became the first to break that mark.

“On Wednesday morning Win Bright galloped and clocked a fast time, so it was not unexpected that he could run a fast time today,” jockey Masami Matsuoka said of the 47/1 outsider.

The rider had not won a G1 since Meiner Kitz landed the Tenno Sho (Spring) all of 10 years ago. But he looked the part of a top-flight regular on his first ride at Sha Tin, cruising coolly along the rail in mid-pack, switching out in the straight and pushing his mount to victory with the vigour of a man ready to end that decade-long drought.

“This is the very best day!” he said. “He didn’t have good gate speed this time but we found a good spot and the horse travelled nicely and that helped him run very well to the finish.”

Win Bright drives to victory

Trainer Hatakeyama – like Matsuoka and the Stay Gold entire’s owner, Win Racing Club – was competing in Hong Kong for the first time. The handler set his sights firmly on this race after Win Bright’s defeat of five G1 winners in the G2 Nakayama Kinen in February.

“He had won at Group 2 and Group 3 level but had always been beaten in Group 1 races, but his winning form from his two starts this season made me think that he was developing and improving,” he said.

“I was quite sure that he would be competitive at the top level. I couldn’t be confident that he would win, of course, but I did think he would be very competitive.”

Hatakeyama believes his charge benefitted from a spell between his last run and today’s victory. Win Bright had looked fresh and eager for action during track work this week.


“Last year, after the Nakayama Kimpai, he went to the Osaka Hai but he hadn’t had a break from the end of the previous season,” the trainer said. “This year, we skipped the Osaka Hai and then set this as our target. That meant that we sent him to the pre-training farm for a rest before this race and that was a very good routine for him. That freshness helped him.

“My only concern was the humid, hot weather in Hong Kong,” he continued, mopping his brow, “but he had done regular routine trackwork, nothing special and things went well throughout the week.”

“I hope he will gain more power and develop and we would love to come back in December for the Hong Kong Cup.”

Win Bright drove past last year’s winner Pakistan Star with 70 metres to race and had momentum enough to hold Hong Kong’s star stayer Exultant by three quarters of a length. The Tony Cruz-trained gelding edged third-place Lys Gracieux by a short-head, the pair having been split by a neck when first and second in December’s G1 Hong Kong Vase.”

“It wasn’t a perfect race and Zac (Purton) said if he’d had an inside draw it might have been a different story, but he’s run a very good race. I knew the Japanese were the ones to beat, they love coming here,” Cruz said.


Oisin Murphy flew in to partner Lys Gracieux and the Irishman was delighted with the five-year-old.

“I’m thrilled with her, I was very happy during the race and I thought I had a good run off the back of Dark Dream, when I switched out in the straight I thought she might be good enough to win,” he said.

“Fair play to the other Japanese horse, Matsuoka saved ground the whole way and the horse was too good on the day. Hopefully one day she’ll get an elusive win here, but what a tough and consistent mare!”

Deirdre forms a new bond as Viddora steps into Vivlos’ shoes24 Apr 2019

Talented mares Deirdre and Viddora may hail from different hemispheres, let alone countries or stables, but they have become close companions as the FWD Champions Day hopefuls travelled together from Dubai and had the Sha Tin quarantine stables to themselves for a week after their arrival.

This has benefited both horses but been especially important for G1 FWD QEII Cup (2000m) contender Deirdre according to Seiko Hashida, daughter of trainer Mitsuru Hashida, who is part of the team supervising the mare’s preparation here in Hong Kong – as she did in Dubai.

“It’s like she (Deirdre) has a big sister here and that’s really helped in keeping her settled,” Hashida said, referring to Viddora, the Lloyd Kennewell trained six-year-old who is aimed at the Chairman’s Sprint Prize.

“Deirdre has always had Vivlos for company when she’s raced away from Japan but Vivlos was retired after Dubai so she needed a new friend. We miss Vivlos but it’s worked out well now. Two V’s, Vivlos and now Viddora,” she said.

The five-year-old daughter of Harbinger is preparing for her fourth international run. She finished fourth to Almond Eye in the recent G1 Dubai Turf and was third to Benbatl in that race in 2018. Vivlos, also a mare, was second on each occasion after winning the 1800 metres Meydan feature in 2017.

Deirdre, of course, also travelled to Hong Kong last December and ran an excellent second behind Glorious Forever in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m). Vivlos too made that trip and also had to be content with second prize – behind Beauty Generation in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile.

Deirdre is a seven-time winner in Japan with her best performance coming in the 2017 G1 Shuka Sho (2000m) when she denied fellow FWD QEII Cup entrant Lys Gracieux (who was runner-up to Exultant in last year’s G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase).

This will be the Hashida stable’s first Champion’s Day runner after having had seven runners at Hong Kong’s December features, which date back to 1997 when Silence Suzuka finished fifth to Val’s Prince in the then G2 Hong Kong International Cup.

Deirdre bids to record the stable’s first winner in Hong Kong and Seiko Hashida reports that the mare has done well after she galloped very strongly on the turf last Friday.

“She’s in very good condition. She’s a good traveller so that’s not a problem with her and she arrived here very well in herself. No problem with eating and drinking since she got here and she worked well this morning (Friday),” she said.

“We just hope she can do her best, run well and come back safe. My father’s coming on Tuesday which is earlier than usual so he will take over then,” she said.

Seven horses have previously won one of the three Champions day feature races after competing in Dubai on World Cup night. They were Fairy King Prawn, Xtension, Presvis, Archipenko, Variety Club, Bullish Luck and Silvano.

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Grand slam for Purton as Time Warp takes LONGINES Hong Kong Cup11 Dec 2017

By Scott Burton

On a day when plenty of the major prizes went the way of horses ridden on the speed, Time Warp and Zac Purton strolled away with the biggest one of all, the HK$25m G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m), easily holding Werther for a two and a quarter length success, with Neorealism leading home a Japanese trio for the minor money.

Purton was completing his grand slam of all four LONGINES Hong Kong International Races and when asked if he saw another horse, he joked: “A couple behind the gates and then pulling up but I don’t know where they were in between.”

Tony Cruz was adding to the two LONGINES Hong Kong Cup wins of California Memory in 2011 and 2012 and must have been delighted as Time Warp coasted along the Sha Tin back straight under minimal pressure from Smart Layer and Neorealism.

Turning for home, Werther emerged from the chasing pack but by then Purton had let Time Warp engage overdrive and last year’s Hong Kong Horse of the Year was never closer than at the line.

“He has got a high cruising speed and he can kick off that,” said Purton of Time Warp. “When nothing attacks him, you can see how good he is.”

Purton revealed that his confidence in Time Warp – whose three previous attempts in Group company had yielded a third and two seconds – had only increased after going through the race with Cruz.

“I couldn’t see much speed on paper before the race so, unless anyone did anything differently, I thought I might be able to get my way in front,” said Purton. “I had a very easy time and that was key to the result. Tony has a great deal of confidence in his horse and he rang me this morning specifically to talk about this one so I thought he must have been pretty keen on him.”

Purton’s LONGINES International Races collection started with Ambitious Dragon’s 2012 win in the Mile, continued with Dominant’s Vase in 2013 and was three-quarters complete by the time Aerovelocity took the first of his two Sprint successes in 2014.

“The jigsaw is complete so I am pretty happy about that,” he said.

Purton had been a slightly peripheral figure during the three earlier LONGINES Hong Kong International Races, with Gold Mount’s fifth-placed effort in the Vase his best return.

But when it mattered most he combined perfectly with Time Warp, following Cruz’s instructions to the letter.

“I told Zac to stay cool, ride the way I want this horse to be ridden,” said Cruz, the former big race jockey never far from the surface. “Zac did exactly what I wanted him to do. He just took him to the front and nobody was going to catch him. I said, ‘just wait for them to come, and when they push you, go. When they came, he just took off.”

Time Warp was cleverly campaigned by Newmarket training legend Sir Mark Prescott, who was at Sha Tin to witness the son of Archipenko’s international coming-of-age.

Prescott sent Time Warp for Listed wins in France at Saint-Cloud and the western provincial track at Craon.

Cruz knows the highways and byways of French racing better than most from his riding days.

“As you saw with the races he won in France, he loves to go to the front,” said Cruz. “Today I thought there were no speed horses and nothing was going to take us on. Even if they had done, they couldn’t do him for speed.”

His Hong Kong programme might well pick itself, with plenty of valuable 2000m prizes to be won going forward, while Cruz admitted Time Warp might be the perfect galloper to travel abroad.
The trainer said: “It’s no big surprise to me. The horse has been pushing me to run in this class of race and I believe there is a lot of horse in him. 2000 metres around this course is perfect for him. If he has it his way, nobody can beat him.

“I would love to go abroad with him. He is a very versatile type of horse: he can go on the soft; he can go on the firm; he can go on the dirt too. I am sure this horse can go places. He is a very sound horse and he is a healthy horse. I haven’t done his programme but I believe he can win elsewhere.”

Time Warp was turning around a neck defeat to Werther in the G2 BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Cup and John Moore was left to rue the way the race unfolded for his six-year-old son of Tavistock, who was never better than seventh running down the back.

“There was no speed up front and you couldn’t be where he was unfortunately,” said Moore. “I wanted him to be ridden closer but, whatever happened, he just wasn’t there in the spot I wanted. It meant he had too much ground to make up and would have had to run an impossible sectional to win. He hasn’t disgraced and we can now look down the road to the Stewards’ Cup, Gold Cup and perhaps Dubai.”

Neorealism held the late thrust of fellow Carrot Farm challenger Staphanos by half a length for third.

But the QEII Cup winner was unable to match the finishing burst of Time Warp, having failed to settle just behind the early pace for Joao Moreira.

“It was a fantastic run, said Moreira. “He was a bit keen early and it took me quite a while to get him to relax but he did a very good job to finish third.”

The six-strong European challenge failed to play a serious part in the finish, with Poet’s Word the best of the sextet when running on for sixth after being seven-wide turning into the straight.

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Leung raises the roof with a Beauty ride to Hong Kong Mile glory11 Dec 2017

By Steve Moran

The story might have been about the horse, the owner or the trainer but the tale of the HK$23 million LONGINES Hong Kong Mile is rightly all about one man – winning jockey Derek Leung.

The 29-year-old claimed his first Group 1 win and became just the second home-grown graduate of the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Apprentice Jockeys’ School, after Matthew Chadwick, to win an international race at the Club’s flagship December meeting (Sunday, 10 December). He ably guided the John Moore-trained and Patrick Kwok-owned Beauty Generation to an all-the-way one-length victory in the day’s third feature.

And rarely has a win been so well-received. Such is the popularity of the man who could boast just two G3 successes before this season but whose talent always promised more.

The crowd cheered wildly for Leung, whose wife Kit is expecting their first child within a month. The weighing room staff stood and applauded as he returned to the scales. Fellow jockeys congratulated him. A warm embrace from rival and colleague Olivier Doleuze said it all.

“I’m very, very happy,” said Leung before re-mounting his horse, with arms raised to the sky, for the official presentation. That was plain for all to see and he needn’t have said any more but, of course, he did.

“I want to thank everyone for their support, especially to the owner (Patrick Kwok) and to trainer John Moore. I was given an opportunity and I took advantage of it. I am always trying to prove myself and I am hoping there will be more international winners in the future.

“The plan was always to go forward, be in the first two and lead if that’s how it turned out. Everything did go very smoothly with a soft lead and I pressed the button at the 450 (metres) because I knew he would not stop and he didn’t. I had no worries to kick for home early and the horse ran so well,” Leung said.

Leung, who sits fifth on the jockeys’ premiership table in his most prominent season to date, had every confidence in the five-year-old son of Road To Rock, returned an 8.4 chance. “We began the season winning a Group 3 (Celebration Cup) and I knew he was a Group 1 horse and today we did it, he proved it,” he said.

The win was trainer Moore’s seventh Hong Kong International Races win and his third in the Mile. It was a second successive win in the race for owner Patrick Kwok after last year’s win with Beauty Only, whom he races with his mother Eleanor Kwok. Beauty Only was seventh today.

It was Hong Kong’s 11th win in the 12 years since 2006 and the 10th winner, in that period, to progress from the Jockey Club Mile. Beauty Generation is the 14th Hong Kong-trained winner since the race was accorded Group 1 status in 2000.

Moore said the win was “no surprise” to the stable. “He’s done everything right from day one, this horse. We saw he was a little hampered in the run last time but today he had the gun run and was able to dictate the terms of the race which always looked a possibility.

“We tried him over more ground last season and he ran well but he starts to grind a bit at the longer trips. We put some speed into him and he has a turn-of-foot at the mile (1600 metres). He’s run so well today,” Moore said.

In an all-Hong Kong finish, John Size and Sam Clipperton combined to finish second with Western Express while Moore’s Helene Paragon finished third, following on from his second placing last year.

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Size’s Stunning quinella in the LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint11 Dec 2017

By Andrew Hawkins

John Size created his own slice of history in the LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin today (Sunday, 10 December) as he became the first trainer ever to prepare the quinella in a Hong Kong International Races (HKIR) feature. His speedster Mr Stunning confirmed his place as the leading horse in town, at least on ratings, notching his maiden G1 win in determined fashion over stablemate D B Pin.

Sent out a 1.9 favourite, Mr Stunning was Size’s top seed among his record-equalling four runners in the Sprint, and when the five-year-old ambled up under jockey Nash Rawiller entering the straight, the HK$18.5 million feature looked there for the taking.

However, the biggest threat loomed large down the outside in the form of 20/1 salvo D B Pin, rushing home under Olivier Doleuze. D B Pin ranged up as though he would race on by, but Mr Stunning had enough in hand, maintaining a neck victory at the line to give Size his first Sprint win and his second HKIR victory overall.

Blizzard, stepping out for the first time since the G1 Sprinters Stakes (1200m) in Japan in October, held third for three-time Sprint-winning trainer Ricky Yiu, with last year’s runner-up Lucky Bubbles fourth.

“He’s very professional and he’s proven himself on top of the Hong Kong sprinters, that’s for sure,” Rawiller said.

Rawiller positioned Mr Stunning third, chasing pace-setters Peniaphobia and Once In A Moon. He sat two-deep throughout, although he had space to his inside, and the Hong Kong-based Australian rider stated that was a pre-determined plan.

“I had no intention of going near the rail at any stage,” Rawiller said. “It can change pretty quickly in a race like that, you only need them to steady a little bit and next minute, you’re in the worst spot in the race. Although it looks pretty going down the hill, it can end up being the biggest trap of all time.

“So I sat one-off, I was in a beautiful position with a bit of cover. The horse was in a lovely rhythm. They were talking about the racing gods the other day – well, this was in the hands of the racing gods, definitely.”

Rawiller was referring to his role in the barrier draw for Mr Stunning on Thursday (7 December). The jockey was tasked with picking the barrier for the Exceed And Excel gelding, with only gates four and 12 left. Rawiller picked four. The unlucky horse left with the second barrier from the outside? D B Pin.

“If he’d drawn 12 and D B Pin had got four, who knows how it might have played out?” Rawiller mused. “I’m lucky I’m on a very good, if not an outstanding, horse. He might have won anyway! Today, he was always going to get to me and I was always going to be vulnerable the last 50 metres, but my bloke just kept doing what he needed to do.

“When you speak of gods, too, I’m probably lucky that I had the chance to ride for one in John Size. He’s the god of trainers.”

Mr Stunning had earned favouritism with wins in the G2 Premier Bowl Handicap and the G2 Jockey Club Sprint over Sunday’s course and distance, beating the majority of his local rivals on both occasions.

“He’s had a lovely lead-up into the race,” Size said. “His three runs were very good. He’s trained well and trialled well all the way through to today. He’s had every opportunity, he drew a good gate, he had a perfect run and Nash put him in a beautiful position so it was hard to see him being beaten from there.

“To D B Pin’s credit, though, he’s probably covered a lot of extra ground from the gate and he’s made him work for it. Both horses have run very well.”

For Rawiller, it was a first G1 win since he took the All-Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick in April, 2014 aboard Japanese mare Hana’s Goal.

“I was fortunate enough to ride a Macau Derby winner but I haven’t had an international G1 win here, so it’s great to finally get one. I’m thrilled,” he said, with the hardened jockey choking up slightly. “I have to thank my family, they are everything to me and they have been my biggest supporters.”

D B Pin covered ground in the middle stages but was far from disgraced at his first attempt at G1 level.

“I am sad but happy. I was very confident,” Doleuze said. “Last time I could not really test him but today he has run against an impressive horse and run a great race. He gave me everything.”

Size said that Mr Stunning would likely be confined to a domestic programme, with races like the G1 Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m) in January and G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) in April likely to be on his agenda.

“I’m not sure he’s got the constitution to travel, I’m not sure if he’s that tough,” Size said. “At home though, if he’s looked after in Hong Kong, he’ll keep racing well.”

Size’s other two horses, Amazing Kids and Thewizardofoz, finished fifth and seventh respectively.

Mr Stunning stopped the clock in 1m 08.4s, the fastest Hong Kong Sprint win since Lord Kanaloa’s breathtaking second victory in 2013.

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Highland Reel battles to a second LONGINES Hong Kong Vase11 Dec 2017

By David Morgan

Aidan O’Brien’s message was clear after the LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m): Highland Reel is “Irreplaceable.” Three times the Ballydoyle maestro pressed that view in his post-race comments and three times the bunched press pack nodded in unanimous agreement.

Highland Reel closed out his globe-trotting career with a second victory in the HK$18 million Vase at Sha Tin Racecourse this afternoon (Sunday, 10 December), a win that epitomised his remarkable time as a racehorse: a street-fighting, stamina-laden seventh Group 1 success on a racetrack thousands of miles from home.

Ryan Moore, who rode him to that first Vase win in 2015, and who drove him to a gutsy second behind Satono Crown 12 months ago, was full of praise for the Galileo entire. Highland Reel is the third horse to win the Hong Kong Vase on two occasions and the first to achieve the feat non-consecutively.

“It’s been a massive effort from everyone to keep bringing him back for the last three years. He’s been all around the world and it’s a fitting way for him to finish. He’s been a brilliant racehorse,” Moore said of the 3.1 favourite.

Highland Reel stalked the pace-setting Helene Charisma, with Godolphin’s Talismanic a tracking third. Moore edged upsides the leader down the back straight, and, on the sweep towards the home stretch, asked the old warrior to press on.

“He’s always been a very straightforward horse and he gets the trip very well. He’s got a lot of good tactical speed and I was always happy and confident,” Moore said.

Highland Reel kicked to a length lead early in the stretch as the pack began to pursue. Tosen Basil drove down the outside under Joao Moreira but it was Talismanic, two places ahead of Highland Reel when successful in the Breeders’ Cup Turf last time, that posed the greatest danger. The French raider joined Highland Reel at the 150m mark but Ballydoyle’s battler was more than equal to the threat.

“He’s the sort of horse, once he gets into a fight, if he’s there in a fight long enough he’s probably going to prevail. He just dug in the last furlong and then at the line I thought he was going away and comfortable at the finish,” Moore said.

Highland Reel brushed off his challenger for a length and three-quarters score in a time of 2m 26.23s. The Hideaki Fujiwara-trained Tosen Basil boxed on for third, a further three quarters of a length back.

Highland Reel will now head off to a second career at Coolmore Stud with a record of 10 wins from 27 starts in seven different countries.

“He’s a very special horse – he’s irreplaceable, really,” O’Brien said. “It’s very rare that you get a horse that can travel like him. He’s been doing it since he was a two-year-old – he won the ‘Champagne’ (Vintage Stakes) at Goodwood as a two-year-old and he’s travelled the world in the meantime, so an incredible horse, really.

“He’s irreplaceable for us at home but we were lucky to hold onto him as a five-year-old, we were lucky to get another year out of him,” O’Brien said, stressing again that, “a horse like him is irreplaceable.”

Moore has been in the saddle for five of Highland Reel’s G1 wins, including both LONGINES Hong Kong Vase successes.

“His record shows he’s a very good horse and it’s a delight to have been a part of that,” the jockey said.

“He’s a high-class horse with a great attitude, very durable, he’s raced all around the world, I think the thing that marks him out is his consistency – he usually always runs his best race. He’s been a pleasure to ride and hopefully he’ll pass that on in the future.”

Maxime Guyon had no excuses after taking second on the Andre Fabre-trained Talismanic.

“He ran well,” the jockey said. “I had the perfect trip behind the winner and I tried to wait as long as possible because my horse only has a short burst of acceleration and that really worked for him in the Breeders’ Cup. But I have no excuses, he ran great.”

Moreira was thrilled with Tosen Basil’s effort: “Fantastic run,” Hong Kong’s Champion Jockey said. “He had everything perfect during the race. He came up as we turned for home to give them a challenge but they are just too good for him but he ran a fantastic third.”

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Hong Kong Race Info

Wed,22 May 2019 Happy Valley
R Post Time Race Name Class Distance Track No.of
Horses
HKT JST
1 19:15 20:15 CORNWALL HANDICAP C5 1650m TURF 12
2 19:45 20:45 DORSET HANDICAP C4 1200m TURF 12
3 20:15 21:15 LANCASHIRE HANDICAP C3 1650m TURF 12
4 20:45 21:45 DORSET HANDICAP C4 1200m TURF 12
5 21:15 22:15 THE ST GEORGE'S CHALLENGE CUP (HANDICAP) C4 1650m TURF 12
6 21:45 22:45 NORFOLK HANDICAP C3 1200m TURF 12
7 22:15 23:15 NORFOLK HANDICAP C3 1200m TURF 12
8 22:50 23:50 SUFFOLK HANDICAP C2 1200m TURF 12

Tip Coliseum Hong Kong

If you register at least 1 race per race day for a total of at least 8 races per month, then your daily and monthly rankings will be posted.

Tipster Ranking is updated the day after end of the monthly tournament.>>Let's check the rules!!

Rank Tipster Name Tipster
Level
No.of Tips Highest Payout Win
Rate
Nice
Masked Doctor Ei Masked Doctor Ei
113 2,614R $222,518 26% 0
SHYU SHYU
102 1,391R $2,856 51% 0
NonpuRIN NonpuRIN
102 1,928R $38,164 48% 0
4
5cd08a475d 5cd08a475d
101 2,649R $10,250 38% 0
5
Dream.limelight Dream.limelight
100 1,099R $9,292 49% 0

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Rank Tipster Name Deviation No.of Tips Hit Rate Return Rate Winnings Nice
dokin dokin
70.0 55R 7% 274% $88,478 6
Masked Doctor Ei Masked Doctor Ei
65.1 55R 76% 160% $32,711 2
Yuji Fujisawa Yuji Fujisawa
64.7 53R 24% 146% $24,650 2
4
Glory Glory
63.2 55R 76% 130% $16,595 3
5
Hey You Say My Name Hey You Say My Name
63.1 55R 10% 144% $23,929 2

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