Red Lion roars for Belardo
Haunui Farm shuttler Belardo (Lope De Vega) appears to have a smart horse on his hands in Hong Kong, through the John Size-trained Red Lion. Bred in the northern hemisphere, the four-year-old clocked his third success from his last four starts in winning the Class 1 Hong Kong Macau Trophy over 1400 metres at Sha Tin on Saturday.
Red Lion, who is the only winner in the jurisdiction from five starters for his sire, won by a length and three-quarters ahead of the highly touted odds-on favourite Beauty Eternal (Starspangledbanner), who placed third in the Hong Kong Derby (Listed, 2000m) earlier this year.
Red Lion formed part of a strong contingent of winners for the northern hemisphere on Saturday. The Irish-bred gelding was joined by seven-year-old Sparkling Knight (Holy Roman Emperor) and Storm Legend as winners on the ten-race card.
Patience is sometimes what you need in Hong Kong. But it’s not a quality you necessarily associate in the cut-throat jurisdiction. But on Saturday, the owners of Storm Legend (Night Of Thunder) were rewarded for theirs when the five-year-old broke a losing streak stretching back 25 starts to land his maiden win in the Class 4, 1400-metre handicap. And he did so emphatically, too. Winning by two and a quarter lengths.
Deep Field’s Super Highway has come alive in his second season in Hong Kong. Trained by Frankie Lor, the four-year-old endured a winless, nine-start campaign in his opening season, not even troubling the placegetters.
However, with an extra year to mature, Super Highway claimed his third victory of this season from 11 starts. The gelding was a $150,000 buy for Lor from the Widden Stud draft at the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
Deep Field, who landed a double on Saturday’s card, is on course to retain his Hong Kong champion sires title by earnings, and win a first sire crown by winners, with the pensioned Newgate stallion, who is on 16 winners, two clear of reigning champion Per Incanto (Street Cry).
At the other end of the career scale, Not Single Doubt (Redoute’s Choice) had a winner with eight-year-old Pakistan Friend, an International Sale graduate, who in claiming the opening race at Sha Tin on Saturday, earned a sixth win at his 44th career start.
12 for Foxwedge
Woodside Park Stud stallion Foxwedge (Fastnet Rock) continues to build an eye-catching record with his progeny in Hong Kong, as the stallion earned his 12th winner from 22 starters in the jurisdiction when Pulsar Strider (4 g ex Val De Loire by Montjeu) saluted in the Class 4, 1200-metre contest at Sha Tin on Saturday. Winning at start eight in Hong Kong, Pulsar Strider earned a victory at Wyong prior to his export to the jurisdiction. The four-year-old was a $60,000 yearling when purchased by Red Bloodstock at the Inglis Melbourne Premier sale, and was subsequently passed in as a two-year-old. Pulsar Strider is a brother to the Listed winner Fox Hall.
Second for Night Of Thunder
Night Of Thunder (Dubawi) earned his second winner in Hong Kong from just three starters when Storm Legend (5 g ex Kymera by Fastnet Rock) won the Class 4, 1400-metre handicap at Sha Tin on Saturday. The Irish-bred four-year-old struck at the 25th time of asking since his purchase at the Goresbridge Breeze-Up Sale in 2020. He is the first foal out of the unraced Kymera (Fastnet Rock) and won twice in Ireland before his export to Hong Kong.
Six for Wandjina
Larneuk Stud stallion Wandjina (Snitzel) sired his sixth winner in Hong Kong from seven starters when Flamingo Trillion (3 g ex Double Dee by Dubleo) won the second division of the Class 4, 1400-metre handicap at Sha Tin on Saturday. The Frankie Lor-trained three-year-old earned his first success at his fourth start, winning by a length and a half. Flamingo Trillion, who was purchased after winning a barrier trial in South Australia, is the second named foal out of five-time winner Double Dee (Dubleo). He was a $48,000 buy for Will Clarken and David Jolly from the 2021 Inglis HTBA Yearling Sale.
27 for Snitzel
Arrowfield Stud sire Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice) sired his 27th winner from 48 starters in Hong Kong when Gummy Gummy (3 g ex Nayeli by More Than Ready) won the Class 3, 1200-metre event on the Sha Tin all-weather track on Wednesday. The Benno Yung-trained gelding was making his seventh start, and improved upon three runner-up finishes to win by a three-quarters of a length. A talented juvenile Gummy Gummy, finished runner-up in both the Inglis Nursery (RL, 1000m) and Oxlade Stakes (Listed, 1300m) when known as Calgary Stampede before his export to Hong Kong. A $350,000 buy for Newgate Farm and China Horse Club, he is the third foal out of dual Group 3 winner Nayeli (More Than Ready).
Sincerely aimed at Tunku Gold Cup after comeback win
It was Mother’s Day on Sunday and the appropriately-named Sincerely (Evasive) came to the fore in the main event of the afternoon, the Supreme B contest over 1200 metres, at Sungei Besi.
It was a superb comeback win for the French-bred gelding who missed the whole of last year after landing two races at Kranji in 2020 and 2021.
The gelding arrived in Singapore with big hopes for his owners having won three races and was placed three times in just seven starts in France, winning the Prix Millkom (Listed, 1600m) at Toulouse and was also placed in another Listed race at three.
Sincerely won first-up in a Class 3 race in Singapore and earned another win in Class 2 company. He also ran third in the Colonial Chief Stakes (Listed, 1600m) in 2020.
The six-year-old has been knocking on the door since making his comeback this year with some encouraging runs, including when finishing third in a similar race over 1400 metres last month.
Ridden by apprentice Winston Cheah Wei Wen, Sincerely hit the front with 80 metres remaining and went on to win by half a length.
It was the fourth win of the afternoon for Winston.
“It was my first time riding four winners and I feel very proud and happy especially on Mother’s Day,” said Winston. “It made my mum very proud of me.”
“At the same time, I couldn’t help but wish that our stable rider can recover as soon as possible and return to the saddle.”
Winston was referring to fellow stable apprentice Chong Kar Hoong who was seriously injured in a race at the same track the previous Saturday.
On Sincerely, the winning rider said: “At the 200-metre mark I didn’t think he could win because I felt like he was stopping. I am glad he refused to be beaten.”
All his winners have been trained by his boss Richard Lines.
“It has been a trying week for the whole stable but thankfully all my riders are recovering well,” said Lines.
“Sincerely did a good job from his wide barrier, aided by a good ride from Winston. Hopefully he will gain a run in the [Tunku Gold] Cup in a couple of weeks and run a good race for the owners.”