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DAVID FERRARIS CRACKS 300 HONG KONG WINS

Hong Kong - Holy Mac, who beat Prince Of Sunshine over 1650m at Sha Tin last week, gave South African trainer David Ferraris his 300th win in Hong Kong. Mid-division under jockey Neil Callan, Holy Mac squeezed between pacemaker Carry The Zeal and favourite Crimson Heart to lead 200m from the wire and won by 1.25 lengths.

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BIG EVENTS, TODAY AND TOMORROW

The rise of international racing in all corners of the world, with big money, big media and big stars flashing over new horizons, could lead to the reinvention of a “World Series Of Racing” concept, as well as focused cross promotion of championship events.

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A TALE OF TWO CHAMPIONS

Variety Club belongs to another order, the guild that takes in Sea Cottage, Mowgli, Hawaii and Horse Chestnut. No foreign-trained racehorse has been able to take out Hong Kong’s Champions Mile (Gr.1) in the past ten years.

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VARIETY CLUB ALL CLASS IN CHAMPIONS MILE DEMOLITION

Variety Club shattered the air of invincibility surrounding Hong Kong horses in the Group 1 Champions Mile with a stunning victory that emphatically ended the local dominance. The South African champion sluiced four lengths clear at the wire to become the first overseas victor and prompted talk of a Breeders’ Cup assault.

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VARIETY CLUB AIMING TO END HONG KONG DOMINATION OF CHAMPIONS MILE

Variety Club is already a multiple Group 1 winner; has twice been crowned South African Horse Of The Year; and earlier this year dazzled Dubai with a comprehensive defeat of some notably talented milers to take the Group 2 Godolphin Mile with some ease. But on Sunday (4 May), the five-year-old will face the stiffest task of his storied career in the Group 1 Champions Mile at Sha Tin racecourse.

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VERCINGETORIX & SANSHAAWES IN QUEEN ELIZABETH II CUP LINEUP

Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup
Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup

Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup / SMH-SCMP (p)

AUDEMARS PIGUET QUEEN ELIZABETH II CUP (Group 1)

Sha Tin, Turf, 2000m

27 April 2014

Two Mike de Kock-trained horses, Vercingetorix and Sanshaawes, have been invited to join worthy opponents from three continents in the HK$14-million Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin on 27 April as the dominant jurisdictions from the Dubai World Cup meeting face off again.

The QE II Cup is light on visiting horses with only five announced on Wednesday, but the race is strong on quality.

When the dust settled on Dubai’s desert showpiece last month, Japan and Hong Kong had claimed two Group 1 races apiece, with South African Variety Club successful in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile and they are the three racing centres which dominate the QE II field.

Defending QE II Cup champion, Military Attack, Hong Kong Cup winner Akeed Mofeed, Vase winner Dominant and this year’s Derby winner and third placegetter, Designs On Rome and Dibayani, will head the hometown defence.

The QE II Cup has been almost shared equally by locals and visitors since the turn of the century.

Japan’s Epiphaneia and Uncoiled are also among the entries, while evergreen French star Cirrus Des Aigles makes his sixth visit to Hong Kong.

Perhaps the most interesting of the invitees is Epiphaneia, runner-up in last year’s Japanese 2000 Guineas and Derby and trained by Katsuhiko Sumii.

Sumii has an impressive record whenever he turns up with runners for international Group 1 events, including the outstanding 2012 QE II Cup winner Rulership.

French star Cirrus Des Aigles will be making his sixth visit to Hong Kong. Once the world’s top-ranked racehorse, he finished third to Akeed Mofeed in the Hong Kong Cup in December and was runner-up to Japanese champion Gentildonna in the Dubai Sheema Classic.

Epiphaneia’s 2013 form after the Derby included wins in the Group 2 Kobe Shimbun Hai (2400m) and the Group 1 Kikuka Sho, the Japanese St Leger at 3000m.

On his only start this year, Epiphaneia started odds-on favourite in a Group 2 at Hanshin last weekend but could finish only third to the horse who had conquered him in the Derby as well, Kizuna.

Uncoiled doesn’t have quite the same profile but was fourth to Just A Way in the Group 1 Tenno-Sho in October and was beaten by only two lengths by Gentildonna in the most recent Japan Cup.

Vercingetorix won the Group 1 Jebel Hatta during the Meydan carnival before he tasted defeat for the first time in his career when runner-up in the Dubai Duty Free behind stunning Japanese winner Just A Way.

Sanshaawes, who De Kock has said is to be rested after a full Dubai World Cup Carnival schedule, finished seventh to African Story in the World Cup, two places behind Akeed Mofeed and three ahead of Military Attack.

Extract from Tab News

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RACING'S BALANCE OF POWER SHIFTING EAST

“Britain prides itself with having the best racing in the world, but Japan,

Hong Kong and South Africa are making us all sit up and take notice”

London - The Breeders Cup in the US is a wonderful race meeting, but while the Americans persist with dirt rather than a synthetic surface they will never attract a truly international galaxy of equine stars, and Dubai showed the Yanks just how it can be done last weekend.

Two winners each for Japan and Hong Kong, a home-bred one-two for South Africa, plus victories for Britain, Ireland and Godolphin in the World Cup itself made Meydan a night to remember - and if that was not enough we had Jennifer Lopez topping the bill after racing. It just doesn’t come any better than that.

Ironically, success in the richest race on the globe for Godolphin’s African Story, who has shown himself to be a tapeta specialist and led a clean sweep for the home nation, was met with muted applause - turf stars Military Attack and Ruler of the World clearly failed to fire on the surface - and was hardly the result that Sheikh Mohammed would have liked.

However, we were not short of international fireworks earlier, with Variety Club, South Africa’s Horse of the Year for the last two seasons, enjoying a soft lead out in front in the Godolphin Mile, holding off fellow Springbok Soft Falling Rain to give Joey Ramsden his biggest training triumph.

Mike de Kock will take Soft Falling Rain to Europe, with the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot being the prime target, and, despite having been beaten into third place behind Hong Kong flying machine Amber Sky in the Al Quoz Sprint, stablemate Shea Shea will also be on the plane to Britain, the King’s Stand Stakes at the Royal meeting again being the aim.

Christophe Soumillon asked a huge question of Shea Shea, who did not jump as smartly from the gate as De Kock would have liked, but Amber Sky’s electric early pace had everything on the stretch from a long way out, and it was no surprise to hear that he had shaved Shea Shea’s track record.

The turf sprinters look stronger than their dirt counterparts, though Hong Kong again had plenty to celebrate in the Golden Shaheen, in which the stronger stamina of Sterling City kicked in during the last 150 metres, enabling him to wear down his countryman Rich Tapestry, who is arguably better at 1000m and did well to go so close from his outside draw.

Sterling City, a second winner on the night for Hong Kong-based Brazilian superstar Joao Moreira, who also rode Amber Sky, is a possible for the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot, but he will probably take in the KrisFlyer International Sprint in Singapore beforehand.

Dual Japan Cup heroine Gentildonna overcame traffic problems to win the Sheema Classic for the “Land of the Rising Sun”. She is an exceptional mare, and she had to be to come from such an uncompromising position 400 metres from home, having been held in by Christophe Soumillon on the 2012 winner Cirrus Des Aigles.

Ryan Moore, who rode Gentildonna, was lucky to find an escape route in time, and the filly duly got him out of jail, but, while we would love to see her at Royal Ascot, the prize money in Japan is so big that both she and Just A Way, undoubtedly the most impressive winner of the night in the Dubai Duty Free, are likely to stay at home.

Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Trev was rated the best horse in the world last year, but she is in danger of being toppled from her pedestal by Just A Way, who remember had hammered Gentildonna by four lengths in the Tenno Shen earlier in the year.

Mike de Kock’s Vercingetorix produced a career-best performance to finish second, but he had no answer to the gear change of Just A Way, who took a phenomenal 2.41sec off the course record. The Ascot executive have been courting Just A Way for several months and still hope to tempt him to Britain, with a mouth-watering clash with Trev in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes being the bait, but the Yasuda Kinen, which is run around the same time, carries an even more valuable purse and is on his doorstep. So unless Just A Way’s connections opt for prestige over the yen it ain’t going to happen.

Not to be outshone by Moreira, former British champion jockey Jamie Spencer also helped himself to two winners on the card, a shock 33-1 celebration on Irish-trained Certerach in the Dubai Gold Cup, in which Godolphin’s Cavalryman was a desperately unlucky runner-up, being stopped more times than a taxi driver on Sheikh Zayed Road, and following up on Jamie Osborne’sToast of the York in the UAE Derby.

Osborne does not have another horse in his Lambourn yard rated above 80, but for weeks he has been telling anybody who would listen that Toast of New York is “the real deal”, and, having blown the opposition away by the time they had reached the home straight, the trainer feels that it is well worth owner Michael Buckley stumping up the £8,000 next week to supplement the colt for the Epsom Derby.

However, having seen Godolphin avoid a whitewash with a seven-year-old gelding and Coolmore, who mounted their strongest raid yet on Dubai, not managing to get a horse in the first three, one left Dubai on Monday morning feeling that racing’s shift of power was edging towards the Far East.

Britain prides itself with having the best racing in the world, but Japan, Hong Kong and South Africa are making us all sit up and take notice - and long may it continue.

Extract from Tab News

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IGUGU SET FOR SOLID QEII CUP PERFORMANCE

Igugu - Audemars Piguet QEII Cup
Igugu - Audemars Piguet QEII Cup

Igugu (SAF)

(Photo : Hong Kong Jockey Club)

AUDEMARS PIGUET QUEEN ELIZABETH II CUP (Group 1)

Sha Tin, Turf, 2000m

28 April 2013

Igugu is expected to put up a good performance in Sunday’s HK$14Million Audemars Piguet QEII Cup over 2000m at Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong, in which Mike de Kock also sends out Treasure Beach.

Mike believes the Summerhill Ready To Run graduate is just about back to her best and commented: “Both our runners travelled well from Dubai and Igugu is the fittest we’ve had her in quite a while. She’s got better and better. She is getting back to what we all know she is capable of. Things didn’t go her way in Dubai during the Carnival. But I think things have turned for her and we’re expecting a big run.”

Anthony Delpech has made the trip to Hong Kong to ride Igugu, while Irish jockey Colm O’Donoghue will partner Treasure Beach, of whom Mike said: “He’s a smart horse and you can ignore his Dubai World Cup run, which came a bit soon. We didn’t have enough time to get him ready.”

Mike’s pair have drawn wide, but he’s never been one to give up before a race because of unfavourable stall positions. The stable won the 2006 QEII Cup with Irridescence and the 2008 renewal with Archipenko.

The last four races from Sha Tin will be screened live on Tellytrack from 9.30 on Sunday morning.

Extract from Mike de Kock Racing

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AKEED MOFEED WINS BMW HONG KONG DERBY

Akeed Mofeed wins the Hong Kong Derby
Akeed Mofeed wins the Hong Kong Derby

Click above to watch Akeed Mofeed winning the Hong Kong Derby (Group 1)

(Image : SCMP - Footage : HKJC)

HONG KONG DERBY (Group 1)

Sha Tin, Turf, 2000m

17 March 2013

Racing in the colors of Jaber Abdullah in Europe under the care of trainer John Oxx, Akeed Mofeed (GB) (Dubawi - Wonder Why) broke his maiden at second asking by five lengths at Leopardstown and was beaten into second as the odds-on favorite in the Group 2 Beresford Stakes over heavy ground at The Curragh and called it a season. He was set a nearly impossible task in his 3-year-old debut when facing Camelot (GB) (Montjeu) in the Group 1 Irish Derby last June, and could do no better than fourth of five, but bounced back with an authoritative victory in the Listed Platinum Stakes at Cork in what would be his final European appearance last August.

Akeed Mofeed was given plenty of time to acclimate and made his Hong Kong debut on a domestic rating of 89, effectively assured of a Derby berth with the expected improvement. But very little went as planned in a Class 2 Handicap over 1400 meters on 12 January, when Olivier Doleuze rolled the dice up the fence and got shut off, but Akeed Mofeed was able to re-rally for third, while Doleuze offered a mea culpa and was reprimanded by stewards.

Connections pressed on to the second leg of the 4-year-old series, the 1800-meter Hong Kong Classic Cup on 17 February, and a meeting with stablemate Gold-Fun, who was exiting a handy win in the Hong Kong Classic Mile on 20 January. Ultimately sent off the second favorite to his barnmate, Akeed Mofeed was well back in a moderately run race and got home very well over the final 400 meters, but finished sixth, beaten just under two lengths.

Enter Douglas Whyte, who had ridden Gold-Fun in the Classic Mile and Classic Cup. The ‘Durban Demon took the call for a Class 2 handicap over nine panels on 2 March, one final confidence builder for Akeed Mofeed, and his 2 1/2-length victory at 90 cents on the dollar was accomplished with a minimum of fuss and would earn him a quote even smaller for the Derby.

Ideally drawn in three with a short run to the first turn, Akeed Mofeed tucked in just behind the leading foursome in fifth, as Gold-Fun was a bit wide out of the straight. But things got interesting for the Richard Gibson runners as the race reached its halfway point. Gold-Fun began to toss his head while racing in third, and Akeed Mofeed followed suit, causing Whyte to take a hold of him, resulting in him being shuffled back a few spots. Both Gold-Fun and Akeed Mofeed raced three wide on the turn, one in front of the other, and both appeared loaded as they reached the stretch. Gold-Fun made the first move and took over from the weakening pacesetters a furlong and a half from home, but Whyte made a simultaneous move aboard Akeed Mofeed and had him in the crosshairs, grabbed him with 100 meters to race and edged clear. Endowing enjoyed the run of the race on the fence and was just able to touch Gold-Fun out of second.

“I came out the gates beautiful, but they slowed it right down around the 1300 meters mark and I was in all sorts of bother,” said Whyte, winning his third Hong Kong Derby in four years (Super Satin in 2010 and Fay Fay in 2012). “I had a long rein and I had him galloping beautifully, so when I had to come back on his mouth, I didn’t have a short enough rein to get him back - I had to peel off heels and it got a bit messy.”

Vengeance of Rain (NZ) and Ambitious Dragon (NZ) successfully followed up their Derby wins in the Group 1 Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup. That April 28 race could beckon for Akeed Mofeed.

“The next stage is to see if he can beat the very best of Hong Kong and that’s a massive challenge, so we’ll see how he takes the race and look at it in a couple of weeks,” Gibson said. “When they’re this good you can have any plan you want in your mind, it’s about forming the right plan at the right time with the owner.”

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

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CALIFORNIA MEMORY WINS LONGINES HONG KONG CUP

California Memory wins Hong Kong Cup
California Memory wins Hong Kong Cup

Click above to watch California Memory winning the Hong Kong Cup (Gr1)

(Image : Vince Caliguri - Footage : Mr BC Frankel)

Longines Hong Kong Cup (Group 1)

Sha Tin, Turf, 2000m

9 December 2012

When Cirrus des Aigles (Fr) (Even Top) was declared from Sunday’s G1 Longines Hong Kong Cup because of injury, it certainly made life easier on the likes of California Memory (USA) (Highest Honor), who was looking to become the first repeat winner in the history of the event. In the end, it may not have mattered. The diminutive gray, arguably the most popular horse in Hong Kong, got through in the stretch and put the race to bed in a matter of strides before going on to a one-length victory from Giofra (GB) (Dansili) and Australia’s Alcopop (Aus) (Jeune).

Following his mild upset over the likes of Ambitious Dragon and Cirrus des Aigles last year, California Memory couldn’t quite solve the Horse of the Year when third in the Stewards’ Cup over a mile January 29 and in the Hong Kong Gold Cup February 26, then was a listless 12th behind Cityscape (GB) (Selkirk) in the G1 Dubai Duty Free Stakes March 31.

Not always the easiest to keep sound, California Memory was well enough for the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup going this track and trip April 29, but finished only fifth, and closed a once-promising season with a seventh in the G1 Singapore Airlines International Cup May 20.

Given a two-race build-up to this title defense, the 6-year-old returned to action with a very useful fifth, beaten 2 1/2 lengths to Ambitious Dragon, in the Sha Tin Trophy Handicap October 28 and put it all together last time with a short-head success from 2011 Cup runner-up Irian (Ger) (Tertullian) in the G2 Jockey Club Cup November 18.

California Memory jumped on cue, and that allowed Matthew Chadwick to slide up the fence into a handy third and just behind the leaders as the field raced out of the stretch for the first time. Dan Excel (Ire)(Shamardal) was at the head of affairs for most of the first half of the journey, but began to get some midrace pressure, first from Autumn Gold (Ger) (Ransom o’War) and then a fired-up Feuerblitz (Ger) (Big Shuffle), the two injecting just enough speed to set things up for those from off the pace. California Memory found himself shuffled back past midfield with a half-mile to race, but Chadwick cooly allowed him to advance into contention turning for home. From there, it was a matter of when to pull the ripcord, and the response was immediate from California Memory, as he hit the lead with less than a furlong to race and coasted in.

Giofra rallied well for second, and Alcopop did his country proud, snatching third on the wire. Carlton House (Street Cry) enjoyed a clean trip, but finished a one-paced sixth.

“He showed great acceleration, and showed his authority today,” said Tony Cruz, a former champion jockey in Hong Kong who trained the legendary Silent Witness (Aus) (El Moxie) to a pair of wins in the Hong Kong Sprint. “When he quickened, Matthew said he put everyone to bed,” Cruz continued. “And then he started to idle in front, and the horse started thinking ‘where is everybody?’ But when they started to come back to him, he thought ‘I’d better go a bit faster again.’”

Cruz also paid tribute to local vet staff for helping to get his charge to the big day in one piece. “We have to give credit to the vet Ben Mason, because the horse has had his niggles and been lame many times, but he fixed the problem,” he commented.

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

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FAY FAY SHOWS WHYTE STUFF TO WIN HONG KONG DERBY

Fay Fay wins the Hong Kong Derby at Sha Tin
Fay Fay wins the Hong Kong Derby at Sha Tin

Click above to watch Fay Fay winning the Hong Kong Derby (G1)…

(Image : RacingB : Footage : HKJC)

MERCEDES-BENZ HONG KONG DERBY (Group 1)

Sha Tin, Turf, 2000m

18 March 2012

In the end, it was Fay Fay (NZ) (Falkirk) who had the “Whyte Stuff” to win the Mercedez-Benz Hong Kong Derby in front of a 53,000-strong Sha Tin crowd Sunday.

Hong Kong’s perennial leading jockey Dougie Whyte, trainer John Size and owner Alexander Wong were handed a near death sentence with the 14 hole at Thursday’s barrier draw, but the ‘Durban Demon’ pulled a rabbit out of the hat to land the Derby for the second year in a row (Ambitious Dragon in 2011).

Fay Fay was a handy winner of Class 2 handicaps December 11 and January 1, earning him a quote of 1-2 for the Hong Kong Classic Mile January 25. He came to win that race following a three-wide trip, but was run down late by the upstart Sweet Orange (USA) (War Front). The bay had some traffic trouble in the middle stages of the Hong Kong Classic Cup Febraury 19, but was essentially excuse-free from there and settled for fourth, two lengths adrift of Zaidan (USA) (Street Cry). That somewhat subpar effort sprinkled with a wide alley, left Fay Fay without a friend in the overnight betting for the Derby, but he firmed to be the third choice at post time.

Away well enough, Whyte pushed the button early and allowed his mount to go up to be a forward factor as Bullish Champion (Ire) (Exceed and Excel) tried to put them to sleep up front. With his chief rivals further behind and with the race being run at a moderate tempo, Fay Fay was always going to get first crack and did so while three wide at the head of the lane. Zaidan, also fairly handy in the running, edged to the front with about a furlong to race, but Fay Fay engaged him soon after and stayed on, as Same World (GB) (Hawk Wing) lunged late. Sweet Orange found himself with plenty of work to do on the turn, was in very tight in the stretch and may have won the race had the wire come a few strides later.

“It’s always nice to win a big race and in Hong Kong the big race to win is the Derby,” said Size, winning the event for the first time. “Fay Fay won a race very early as a 2-year-old, which is probably a bit unusual for a Derby winner. Through injury, he had more than 12 months off the track through his 3-year-old year, but that has probably stood him in good stead as I’ve been able to step him up at his leisure and he made steady progress to the point that he got into the Group 1 races.”

The winner could go next in the G1 Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup over this track and distance April 29.

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

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CALIFORNIA MEMORY WINS CATHAY PACIFIC HONG KONG CUP

California Memory wins the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup
California Memory wins the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup

Click above to watch California Memory winning the Hong Kong Cup

(Photo : The Thoroughbred - Footage : Dubai Racing)

CATHAY PACIFIC HONG KONG CUP (Group 1)

Sha Tin, Turf, 2000m

11 December 2011

FINAL RESULTS

#

LBH

Horse

WT

Rating

Dr

Jockey

Trainer

1

0.00

CALIFORNIA MEMORY

126

117

1

M Chadwick

AS Cruz

2

1.00

IRIAN

126

118

10

D Beadman

J Moore

3

1.25

ZAZOU

126

117

8

O Peslier

W Hickst

4

1.25

AMBITIOUS DRAGON

126

122

5

D Whyte

AT Millard

5

2.00

CIRRUS DES AIGLES

126

128

2

C Soumillon

C Barend-Barbe

6

2.75

BYWORD

126

122

6

M Guyon

A Fabre

7

3.00

PURE CHAMPION

126

114

3

G Mosse

AS Cruz

8

5.75

RANSOM NOTE

126

116

4

M Hills

C Hills

9

6.25

JACOBEE

126

104

9

T Clark

J Moore

10

11.25

DURBAN THUNDER

126

118

7

A Starke

T Mundry

www.cxhkir.com

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BRICS AND THE HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL RACES

Douglas Whyte, Julie Alexander, Mick Goss, Mrs Whyte and Derreck David
Douglas Whyte, Julie Alexander, Mick Goss, Mrs Whyte and Derreck David

Dougie Whyte, Julie Alexander, Mick Goss, Dougie’s Mum and Derreck David

Summerhill Box, Greyville, Vodacom Durban July 2011

(Photo : Summerhill Stud)

CATHAY PACIFIC

HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL RACES

Sha Tin Racecourse, Hong Kong

11 December 2011

Just under a year ago, South Africa was admitted to the prestigious conglomerate of nations known as Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), and the 2011 staging of their international meeting by the local Jockey Club in the Chinese enclave of Hong Kong, is the first since our admission.

It is, of course, the season for international events, and especially jockey’s internationals, and these always invoke a measure of parochial interest. South African jockeys have dominated the Hong Kong championship (one of the most sought after titles in racing) for 18 of the last 19 years. The most successful of these is a man who might legitimately lay claim to the title of Best Jockey in the World”. He is the Durban-bred and raised Dougie Whyte, who just happens also to be the most successful rider in the history of the jockey’s challenge. Local fans will remember it was Dougie who piloted London News to his epic victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (Gr1), heralding the return to the international fold of South African horses, and that it was he, aboard the Summerhill-bred Pierre Jourdan, who ran Igugu to three quarters of a length in this year’s Vodacom Durban July. You can bet your bottom dollar Dougie will be at the action end of things come Sunday’s Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races.

Rocket Man’s South African connection

Summerhill clients, Ronnie and Bev Napier, Jean Marc and Clothilde Ulcoq, are all in Hong Kong for this annual jamboree, as they have been for some years as guests of the Hong Kong Jockey Club following the initiation of their attendance in the days when Major General Guy Watkins was still the CEO. It is a sign of their loyalty and affection for racing in that jurisdiction, that they haven’t missed a meeting in close to twenty years, and you’d have to forgive them a measure of patriotic sentiment when it comes to the chances of the South African-connected Rocket Man in the Hong Kong Sprint (Gr1).

A victim of an irrepressible late surge from the South African-bred, JJ The Jet Plane (by Jet Master) in last year’s renewal, Rocket Man’s owned by local doyen, Fred Crabbia, trained by Pat Shaw and his regular rider is Felix Coetzee. He’s reported to have worked up a storm on Tuesday morning on the Sha Tin all-weather track.

“He’d have done more if we’d let him, but he’ll do a piece of work on the grass tomorrow over about 800 metres”, Trainer Shaw explained.

The six-year-old brings top credentials into the 1200 metre event, having won the Gr1 Dubai Golden Shaheen over the Meydan Tapeta in March and the Gr1 Krisflyer International Sprint on the turf at Kranji racecourse in May.

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DOUGIE WHYTE : THE DEMON IS BACK IN TOWN

Dougie Whyte Champion Jockey of Hong Kong - Pierre Jourdan - Vodacom Durban July
Dougie Whyte Champion Jockey of Hong Kong - Pierre Jourdan - Vodacom Durban July

Douglas Whyte - Hong Kong Jockeys Championship

(Photo : Life HK)

“PIERRE JOURDAN”

VODACOM DURBAN JULY

Greyville, Turf, 2200m

2 July 2011

The most sought-after Jockey’s title in the world, is the crown in Hong Kong, which has been in South African hands for eighteen of the last nineteen years. Only one man has ever won it on ten consecutive occasions, and he is Durban-born, Cape Town-trained and Hong Kong-celebrated Dougie Whyte, otherwise known in Far East realms as “The Demon”. This is no single-dimensional horse rider though, he’s a man with a mind, great athletic attributes, the determination that goes with champions, and, in a little known cameo to his career, he was once South Africa’s leading Young Winemaker with his Demonvale range.

Dougie’s also a man who doesn’t deal in trifles, and if he’s coming to South Africa to take a mount in a race, it’s going to be for the Vodacom Durban July, and it’s going to be a serious horse. He’s aboard the Summerhill wonder, Pierre Jourdan, the pride of the Gary Alexander Racing stable and a little owner, Emilio Baisero, who reminds us all that in racing, you don’t have to be the biggest businessman in the world to own the best horse.

Pierre Jourdan has had a perfect preparation, culminating in a gallant second under 60kgs in the Jubilee Handicap (Gr2), and according to Dean Alexander, he’s ready to go, though nobody really knows how far he’ll travel. Spare a thought for young Derreck David, his regular pilot and now on standby, though it seems that issue is taken care of, too. He has great respect for Dougie Whyte, who’s in touch with the stable several times a day, instructing Derreck as to what he wants him to do with “PJ” in work, and sharing insights on the video material he’s watched, not only of PJ’s previous efforts, but of the opposition.

There won’t be a stone unturned, come Saturday afternoon, and all the connections have to worry about now is Dougie’s plane arriving on time. If all else fails, Derreck will be there to fill the breach.

summerhill stud, south africa
summerhill stud, south africa

For more information please visit :

www.summerhill.co.za

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TONY MILLARD TRIUMPHS IN HONG KONG DERBY

Ambitious Dragon wins the Hong Kong Derby for trainer Tony Millard
Ambitious Dragon wins the Hong Kong Derby for trainer Tony Millard

Click above to watch Ambitious Dragon winning the Hong Kong Derby

(Photo and Footage : HKJC)

HONG KONG DERBY (Grade 1)

Sha Tin, Turf, 2000m

20 March 2011

Ambitious Dragon, a son of Waikato Stud’s Pins (Snippets) and trained by Tony Millard for owner Johnson Lam Pui Hung, delivered  exactly what his fans have come to expect of him when coming with a strong late run to overpower the leaders and win the HK$16 million Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby (HK Gr 1, 2000m) at Sha Tin Sunday.

The John Moore-trainedXtension (Xaar) was gallant in defeat, keeping on well for second three quarters of a length behind the winner, with Let Me Handle It (High Chaparral), trained by Caspar Fownes almost four more lengths behind in third and another John Moore horse, Jacobee, a full six lengths behind the winner in fourth.

Although the winning margin was less than a length Ambitious Dragon always seemed to have the measure of the runner-up in the last 200m and with such a long gap back to the remainder of his rivals he gave the distinct impression in this, his fourth consecutive victory and his second Hong Kong Group 1 event, that he may be a Derby winner of unusual quality.

It can hardly be called a triumph without problem as jockey Maxime Guyon had to find a way to victory from the outside gate, but the Frenchman accomplished his task without any sign of panic.

Speaking through an interpreter, Guyon, who had flown in overnight from France for the race, said, “I am very, very happy, he was a big favourite but he did everything I asked. I am so happy with him and so full of confidence too for future races. I only had to whip him once and I think he is sure to be an international Group 1 horse of the future.”

“I didn’t worry about the draw,” said a jubilant Millard afterwards, although no horse had won the Derby from barrier 14 since the race distance was changed to 2000m at the start of the millennium. “I just worried about the horse. But after the draw I went to look at him and he looked so well I had no doubts. You get a horse like this just once or twice in a lifetime and I just feel lucky to have him. Maxime rode him an absolute treat. At one point he was blocked too, but the horse was good enough in spite of that. He’s one of those you just dream about.”

“It’s been a tough time,” added the South African, referring to the stable’s shortage of big race success since his previous 2000 Derby winner Keen Winner (Selkirk), a horse he rates much inferior to today’s victor. “We’ve had a long time in the wilderness, and I just hope people will start believing in us now as we’ve always believed in ourselves.”

Millard was keen to share the credit with his staff. “Particularly Carol Yu who is a very, very good assistant trainer and is 110 per cent dedicated. Ambitious Dragon will definitely go for the (Audemars Piguet) QE II Cup on 1 May now and after that he’ll have a spell. He’s earned it, hasn’t he, not many horses progress from Class 4 to win the Derby, but he’s done that.”

Not only has he done that, but he’s become the first horse in Hong Kong to score six times this season. If he now goes on to further triumph in the APQEII Cup (Gr 1, 2000m), he will have equaled the Hong Kong seasonal record of seven victories set last year by Entrapment (Halo Homewrecker).

A crowd of 46,566 attended, an increase of almost 7,000 on attendance for the same event in 2010.

Extract from ANZ Bloodstock News

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JJ JET'S HOME

j j the jet plane wins hong kong sprint
j j the jet plane wins hong kong sprint
j j the jet plane winning hong kong sprint trophy presentation
j j the jet plane winning hong kong sprint trophy presentation

J J The Jet Plane - Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint (Gr1)

(Photos : Hong Kong Jockey Club)

J J THE JET PLANE

CATHAY PACIFIC HONG KONG SPRINT (Gr1)

It was good to be South African on Sunday, particularly if you’re into racehorses. Twice a champion back home, J J The Jet Planetook the form of his most recent domestic Gr1victories in the Golden Horse Casino Sprintand the Mercury Sprint to Hong Kong for the HK$14million Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint Gr1yesterday, where his adversaries included numerous international Gr1 winners, as well as the Hong Kong and Singapore champions, Sacred KingdomandRocket Man. Displaying the characteristic guts of Jet Master’sprogeny, “JJ” lived up to his name as he took off and swamped the appropriately named Rocket Man in literally the last stride of a desperate contest, becoming the second South African-bred Gr1 winner in a week, following Gypsey’s Warning’ssurge in America’s Milady Handicap. Just ¾ of a length separated the three champions, and this victory catapults “JJ”right into the reckoning for the title of the world’s best sprinter. A great piece of training by an underestimated force, Lucky Houdalakis, and a fairytale for a grand team of owners, who paid only R70,000 for JJas a yearling.

Our hero’s pedigree is littered with Summerhill connections, but before you jump to any hasty conclusions, let me explain. His sire Jet Master is one of, if not the greatest stallion we’ve known, dominating the local championship at a time of formidable opposition. Both his grandmother and his great grandmother were bred and raised at Summerhill, while “JJ’s” mother, bred at Summerhill by the late Gordon Ball, is a Stakes-winning daughter of our own champion, Northern Guest. Both his next two dams were bred at the old Hartford, now part of Summerhill.

Spare a thought here for Jet Master’sbreeder Hugh Jonsson, whose little stud, which never comprised more than two or three mares at a time, produced Jet Master and sold him for a meagre R15,000 as a weanling. Hugh, whose family were one-time owners of Hartford, parted the next year with his mother at the old broodmare sale on Summerhill for a paltry R10,000, the beneficiary of this transaction being another “poor” man, Chris Saunders, chairman at the time of Tongaat Huletts! It’s these stories that keep us interested, as it’s the best proof, if ever it was needed, that there’s room for everyone in this game.

Fortunately, the family is in great hands, as Chris’ magnificent Invermooi Studhas an enviable history of association with fine thoroughbreds.

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J J THE JET PLANE PINCHES THRILLING HONG KONG SPRINT

j j the jet plane win cathay pacific hong kong sprint
j j the jet plane win cathay pacific hong kong sprint

Click above to watch J J The Jet Plane winning the Hong Kong Sprint…

(Photo : Form Guide - Footage : Hong Kong Jockey Club)

CATHAY PACIFIC HONG KONG SPRINT (Gr1)

Sha Tin, Turf, 1200m

12 December 2010

The aptly named JJ THE JET PLANE pinched a thrilling victory in Sunday’s Group 1 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin racecourse, and the manner in which the South African speedster prevailed had the vast crowd applauding on their feet.

South African jockey, Piere Strydom, brought the six-year-old Jet Master gelding, a 17-1 chance, fast and late down the outside to thwart Singaporean superstar Rocket Man, piloted by fellow South African jockey Felix Coetzee, by a short head, always looking likely to get there once he’d begun his final descent but prevailing only narrowly when the camera clicked.

The first two home ably defused Sacred ‘Hong Kong Bomb’ Kingdom, whose fan club were scenting victory as he drove forward halfway down the straight. However, his run petered out in the closing stages and he was ultimately denied his third victory in the race.

Sole British challenger Kingsgate Native, trained by Sir Michael Stoute and ridden by Ryan Moore, never showed towards the front end but kept on valiantly in a race run at lightning speed - the clock stopped in 1m 08.84s, just over a second outside the track record - to fill sixth place.

Local sprinter Let Me Fight took fourth place and Australian mare Ortensia filled fifth spot.

J J The Jet Plane, of whom British racegoers never saw the best in a lacklustre campaign last year, has returned to his very best back in South Africa under the handling of trainer Lucky Houdalakis.

This victory marked the first time in eight years that a horse trained outside of Hong Kong had prevailed in the in the Hong Kong Sprint.

The irony will not be lost on Rocket Man’s trainer Patrick Shaw, also a South African, but he was looking forward rather than wondering what might have been.

Shaw had stated all week that J J The Jet Plane was the horse he feared most and now Dubai beckons for his sprinter, Rocket Man, narrowly beaten for the fourth time in an international Group 1.

FINAL RESULT

#

Draw

Horse

Time

Jockey

Trainer

1

8

J J THE JET PLANE

1.08.84

Piere Strydom

Lucky Houdalakis

2

6

ROCKET MAN

1.08.84

Felix Coetzee

Patrick Shaw

3

2

SACRED KINGDOM

1.08.96

Brett Prebble

Ricky Yiu

4

11

LET ME FIGHT

1.09.08

Darren Beadman

John Moore

5

5

ORTENSIA

1.09.13

Craig Williams

Tony Noonan

6

1

KINGSGATE NATIVE

1.09.18

Ryan Moore

Sir Michael Stoute

7

12

LUCKY NINE

1.09.22

Gerald Mosse

Casper Fownes

8

3

LITTLE BRIDGE

1.09.36

Zac Purton

Danny Shum

9

9

DIM SUM

1.09.36

Olivier Doleuze

John Moore

10

7

GREEN BIRDIE

1.09.38

Douglas Whyte

Casper Fownes

11

13

JOY AND FUN

1.09.61

Tye Angland

Derek Cruz

12

10

CERISE CHERRY

1.09.71

Frankie Dettori

Derek Cruz

13

14

ONE WORLD

1.09.91

Jeff Lloyd

John Moore

14

4

ULTRA FANTASY

1.10.16

Hoi Wing Lai

Ricky Yiu

Extract from Racing Post

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THE CHAMPIONS MILE 2010 : BARRIER DRAW

imbongi hong kong mile
imbongi hong kong mile

Imbongi

(Photo : Hong Kong Jockey Club)

HONG KONG MILE (GR1)

Sha Tin, 25 April 2010

#

Horse

Representing

Trainer

Draw

1

GOOD BA BA

HONG KONG

Derek Cruz

1

2

EGYPTIAN RA

HONG KONG

Tony Cruz

12

3

FELLOWSHIP

HONG KONG

Paul O’Sullivan

7

4

SIGHT WINNER

HONG KONG

John Size

5

5

ABLE ONE

HONG KONG

John Moore

8

6

BEAUTY FLASH

HONG KONG

Tony Cruz

2

7

DAO DAO

AUSTRALIA

John Hawkes

10

8

THUMBS UP

HONG KONG

Danny Shum

9

9

IMBONGI

SOUTH AFRICA

Mike de Kock

6

10

SUNNY KING

HONG KONG

John Moore

3

11

FAIR TRADE

HONG KONG

Caspar Fownes

11

12

BRAVE KID

HONG KONG

John Size

4