Jenny - Clean

THE 2010 running of the HK$20 million Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday unveiled a new start of world racing and produced the sort of finish that would quicken any pulse.

Internationally-acclaimed jockey Ryan Moore is justly famous for his taciturnity, but the brilliant hoop was positively voluble by his standards after the thrilling victory of European filly Snow Fairy.


“At the top of the bend I thought I had no chance,” said Moore. “But fortunately they just came back to me. She’s a machine really. She has such a brilliant turn of foot. She did what we thought she could, and she surpassed it.”

That was an eloquent summing up of the performance of a three-year-old filly who has now added Hong Kong’s premier race to a collection of G1 victories gathered in four different countries.

“She’s not the biggest filly in the world but she’s got the biggest heart,” said trainer Ed Dunlop. “Hopefully she’ll come back for this race again next year because she’s going to stay in training as a four-year-old.”

Snow Fairy has emerged as one of the finest of her age and sex in an era of great fillies worldwide, and it seems incredible now that the 1,800 Euros buy-back purchase as a yearling had to be supplemented for her first G1 outing because she hadn’t even been entered in The Oaks.

Asked about that omission, Patrick Cooper, racing manager to the Snow Fairy’s owners Anemoine Ltd, joked: “Perhaps we didn’t know what we were doing!”

Half way up the straight after Brett Prebble had booted Irian into the lead it looked as though a Hong Kong horse was going to claim the day’s major prize. But Snow Fairy’s astonishing acceleration proved decisive and she cut him down with less than 50m to go to snatch victory by a neck.

Snow Fairy, dubbed the “Queen of the Orient” after her victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup in Japan, has now confirmed that title.

Hong Kong veteran Packing Winner ran another terrific race in defeat to finish third, running on bravely after making most of the running to keep last year’s Cup winner Vision d’Etat out of the first three.



NO great meeting is complete without representation from Godolphin, and the “Boys in Blue” made their presence felt very early in the 2010 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International races when Mastery, trained by Saeed bin Suroor and superbly ridden by the ever popular Frankie Dettori, routed the opposition in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase.

Dettori had the son of Arc winner Sulamani perfectly poised throughout just off the pace set by Mighty High and when he sent the 2009 St. Leger winner on there was never much likelihood that he would be beaten. The Barry Hills-trained, Michael Hills-ridden Redwood emerged from the pack to give chase but Dettori always had things under control and the Group 1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes winner was making no ground on the leader as the post arrived.

Americain, winner last month of the 150th Melbourne Cup, and unbeaten in his last five outings, kept on stoutly at the end to take third place, but dropping back in trip from two miles to 2400m, and on quick ground, the Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained stayer could make no real inroads on Mastery’s lead, and the victory in the end could only be described as comfortable.

“The pace of the race was too slow for him especially at the last bend,” said Royer-Dupre of Americain. “He’s a very good horse, but it’s impossible to catch these faster runners under such conditions. I’m confident he will eventually succeed over 12 furlongs (2400m) and with a faster pace, perhaps the Japan Cup could be a race for him next year.”

“Saeed [bin Suroor] told me the horse has been flying the last couple of days,” said the jubilant Dettori, “and he was going so well as they came into the straight I knew when I pulled him out that nothing was going to outsprint me from there. For a four-year-old he’s had very little racing and the fresh legs have definitely helped.”

Both bin Suroor and Dettori saw the Dubai Sheema Classic at next March’s Dubai World Cup meeting as the probable next target for the two-and-a-half length Vase winner. “And as he will stay in training we may be able to come back and try and win this race again in 2011,” added the trainer.

The Japan Cup fourth Jaguar Mail filled the same spot in the CXHK Vase - four and a quarter lengths astern with the G1 Gran Premio di Milano winner Jakkalberry fifth and King Dancer doing best of the Hong Kong horses in sixth.



THE Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint promised to be one of the best 1200m races run anywhere in the world this year and it did not disappoint in the slightest, developing into an epic three way battle between arguably the three fastest horses on the planet.

In the end it was the sheer toughness of South African champion JJ The Jet Plane that enabled him to prevail over Singapore champion Rocket Man and Hong Kong’s Sacred Kingdom - winner of two of the last three runnings of the Sprint.


It completed an astonishing turnaround in fortune for the South African JJ The Jet Plane who ended a sequence of 11 consecutive victories for Australian breds in Hong Kong’s premier sprint. Last year he had only a moderately successful campaign in Britain but the return to his homeland was the signal for a complete renaissance, and today was his third G1 in succession: a victory too over two of the horses who, with the mare Black Caviar, were the main contenders for the world sprinting crown.

His trainer Michael “Lucky” Houdalakis deserves most of the credit for the transformation as the horse seemed to have left his career behind him this time last year. Jockey Piere Strydom’s great strength in the finish also played a major part in today’s success and he remains unbeaten on JJ The Jet Plane in eight races.

“We had a great run,” said Strydom. “He was always travelling. When we eased out on straightening I was happy to go after Rocket Man because I didn’t want him to get away. My bloke gave me everything and we got there on the line.”

Beaten a short head was Rocket Man who once again battled on with extreme gameness only to find himself denied in an international G1 for the fourth time in a row, with the margin of the only four defeats he has suffered in his lifetime totalling less than a length between them.

Sacred Kingdom, now a seven-year-old, lost very little in defeat, but once again his run just flattened out in the last few strides, just as it had in the CX Jockey Club Sprint on 21 November, and he finished three quarters of a length back with the young Hong Kong horse Let Me Fight fourth.

The winning time was 1.08.84 on ground officially Good.



THERE was a sensation before the start of the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile when hot favourite and reigning Hong Kong champion miler – a lame Able One was withdrawn by order of the stewards.

In the opinion of many, Hong Kong’s hopes of victory left with him, but they reckoned without Beauty Flash, trainer Tony Cruz and jockey Gerald Mosse who combined to produce exactly the performance that had been expected of the champion, kicking early in the straight and then holding his lead against all comers.

Sight Winner and Douglas Whyte had been allowed to set a dawdling pace with Beauty Flash unhurried behind him and ready to strike when required, and after Mosse made his request of the chestnut there were few worries for his supporters. French challenger Royal Bench ran on well from far back to get within three quarters of a length at the line, with his compatriot Sahpresa another half length behind in third.

“It’s all a matter of timing,” said Cruz afterwards. “Sometimes you can’t push a horse too hard when you’re riding him or training him, but sometimes you know when to ask him and he’d been so well in the last few weeks I was very confident that he must finish in the first three.”

“I felt the horse pick up by himself and he ran on like a superstar,” said Mosse who was completing his full house of international events in Hong Kong.

“I’d like to take this horse overseas to race,” said Cruz, whose faith in Beauty Flash which had persuaded him to bid for the Yasuda Kinen in the summer was finally being repaid. “Take him to Dubai, Japan. Some of the biggest mile races in the world.”

With Japan Mile Championship winner A Shin Forward behind Beauty Flash in a dead heat fourth, and Sahpresa a very close fourth in the same race in Japan, the plan looks a lot more than casually optimistic.



Join Us on Facebook

Racing News

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Getaway & Go Racing &
Day at the Races FREE Ratings
BN: 55127167

Login Form