Straight Arron another success story for Torryburn
Straight Arron confirmed his ability that an Australian audience saw a fleeting glimmer of when the son of Fastnet Rock (Danehill) claimed the Queen Mother Memorial Cup (Gr 3, 2400m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Formerly trained in Australia by Chris Waller, Straight Arron won the Carbine Club Stakes (Gr 3, 1600m) before a lucrative move to Hong Kong to target the rich domestic-restricted Four-Year-Old series.
However, an auspicious start, in which he finished ninth, 11th and 13th on his first three outings in Hong Kong, led to Straight Arron being switched from David Hayes to Caspar Fownes and only set for the Hong Kong Derby (Listed, 2000m), the final leg in the series, in which he ran fifth, beaten two lengths by Voyage Bubble (Deep Field).
Straight Arron has won three of his four starts for Fownes, and having rediscovered that form which saw him highly touted for success earlier this season, is now one of the leading performers in Hong Kong for his veteran sire Fastnet Rock.
His success also continues a strong recent showing from graduates of Torryburn Stud to ply their trade in Hong Kong. The Hunter Valley property has produced the likes of Group 1 winner Hot King Prawn (Denman), as well as this year’s Derby winner Voyage Bubble.
Straight Arron is the second foal out of the New Zealand-bred mare Imperial Lass (Tavistock), who finished third behind superstar mare Winx (Street Cry) in the 2015 Queensland Oaks (Gr 1, 2200m) and is a half-sister to Group 2 winner La Sizeranne (Stravinsky).
He was a $270,000 purchase for Chris Waller from the Inglis Easter sale.
First for Mor Spirit
Chancheng Glory (3 g ex Solid Scam by Consolidator) became the first Hong Kong runner and winner for his sire Mor Spirit (Eskendereya) when scoring in a 1000-metre conditions contest at Sha Tin. Ridden by Lyle Hewitson for trainer Francis Lui, the three-year-old gelding led inside the final furlong and kept on well to beat Gallant Valour (Heroic Valour) by a length with a further half-length back to Holy Lake (Holy Roman Emperor) in third place. Out of the winning Consolidator (Storm Cat) mare Solid Scam, Chancheng Glory is a half-brother to stakes-placed winners Ornamental Iron (Flat Out), Aprise (Commissioner), and Kayla (Midshipman). Mor Spirit stands at Spendthrift Farm for a fee of US$5,000 (approx. AU$7,360).
24 for Star Witness
The David Hayes-trained Young Horizon (4 g ex Shalimar Sky ex Hurricane Sky) became the 24th individual winner in Hong Kong from 33 runners for Widden Victoria inmate Star Witness (Starcraft) as he scored an impressive victory in a 1400-metre Class 5 handicap at Sha Tin. Ridden by Vincent Ho, the four-year-old gelding led over a furlong out to beat Apex Top (Flower Alley) by an eased down five and a quarter lengths. The John Size-trained Beauty Nova (Territories) finished third, beaten five and a half lengths by the winner. Out of the Tibbie Stakes (Listed, 1400m) winner and Group 2-placed mare Shalimar Sky (Hurricane Sky), Young Horizon is a half-brother to Group 3 scorer Nancy (Big Brown) and to the Group 3-placed winner Zavance (Mossman). Star Witness will stand the upcoming breeding season for a fee of $11,000 (inc GST).
33 for Sebring
Simple Hedge (3 g ex Lovani by Lonhro) provided Sebring (More Than Ready) with a 33rd individual from 62 runners in Hong Kong when scoring in a 1200-metre Class 4 handicap at Sha Tin. The John Size-trained three-year-old gelding challenged inside the final 50 yards for a cosy neck success under Zac Purton, beating Moduleconstruction (Overshare) with Sight Hero (Love Conquers All) a further two lengths back in third place. Out of the Group 2-placed winning Lonhro (Octagonal) mare Lovani, Simple Hedge is a half-brother to Group 3-placed Zoustar (Northern Meteor) filly Lovazou. He was a $680,000 buy for John Foote Bloodstock from the Kia Ora draft at the 2021 Inglis Easter yearling sale. Former Widden Stud stallion Sebring died in 2019.
61 for Fastnet Rock
The Pierre Ng-trained Master Of Fortune (4 g ex Stellar Glow by Sea The Stars) became the 61st individual winner in Hong Kong from 108 starters for Coolmore stallion Fastnet Rock (Danehill) when comfortably winning a 1600-metre Class 4 handicap at Sha Tin. Ridden by Vincent Ho, the four-year-old gelding led inside the final 150 yards and beat Superb Move (Bated Breath) by a length and a half with a further nose back to the third-placed Lifeline Vision (Pierro). Out of the Group 3-placed winning Sea The Stars (Cape Cross) mare Stellar Glow, Master Of Fortune is a half-brother to winner Alseyoob (Lope De Vega). Fastnet Rock will stand the 2023 breeding season for a fee of $110,000 (inc GST).
Six for Press Statement
All Is Good (4 g ex Lago Joy by Encosta De Lago) provided Novara Park Stud stallion Press Statement (Hinchinbrook) with a sixth individual winner from nine runners in Hong Kong when landing a Class 4 handicap over 1400 metres at Sha Tin. The Francis Lui-trained four-year-old gelding made all and was ridden out by jockey Vincent Ho to beat Lady’s Choice (Charm Spirit) by three-quarters of a length with a further half-length back to Togepi (Eurozone) in third. Out of the Encosta De Lago (Fairy King) mare Lago Joy, All Is Good is a brother to winner Steel Win and a half-brother to the stakes-placed scorer Grand Challenge (Not A Single Doubt) and winner Bound To Win (Sebring). Press Statement will stand the upcoming breeding season for a fee of NZ$6,000 (plus GST).
Eight for Shocking
The Jimmy Ting-trained Ai One (6 g ex Dream Lass by Dream Well) became the eighth individual winner in Hong Kong from ten starters for Rich Hill Stud stallion Shocking (Street Cry) as he landed a Class 5 handicap over 1800 metres at Happy Valley. Ridden by Luke Ferraris, the six-year-old gelding went clear two furlongs out and kept on inside the closing stages to beat Happy Jai Jai (Savabeel) by three-quarters of a length with a further nose back to the third-placed Mighty Star (Husson). Out of the winning Dream Well (Sadler’s Wells) mare Dream Lass, Ai One is a half-brother to four-time stakes scorer Sea Lord (Street Cry) and to the Group 3-placed winner Dreamcrafter (Mastercraftsman) among others. Shocking will stand the upcoming breeding season for a fee of NZ$12,500 (plus GST).
First for Divine Prophet
Jack Win (4 g ex Igraine by Denman) provided Highview Stud inmate Divine Prophet (Choisir) with a first individual Hong Kong winner from two starters when just getting up in a Class 5 handicap over 1200 metres at Happy Valley. Ridden by Australian rider Hugh Bowman for trainer Tony Cruz, the four-year-old gelding stayed on well inside the final furlong and led close to home to beat Charming Steed (Charm Spirit) by a neck with a further three-quarters of a length back to Day Day Rich (Love Conquers All) in third. Out of the Group 3-placed Denman (Lonhro) mare Igraine, Jack Win is a half-brother to winner Fall On A Star (Zoustar). Divine Prophet will stand the 2023 breeding season for a fee of NZ$13,500 (plus GST).
Six for Sweynesse
The Jamie Richards-trained Happy United (3 g ex Light Mozart by Mozart) became the sixth individual winner from nine starters in Hong Kong for his sire Sweynesse (Lonhro) when scoring a narrow victory in a Class 4 handicap over 1200 metres at Happy Valley. Ridden by Zac Purton, the three-year-old gelding just held on in the closing stages to win by a short-head from Young Life Forever (Exceed And Excel) with the same distance back to the third-placed Loriz (Smart Missile). Out of the Mozart (Danehill) mare Light Mozart, Happy United is a half-brother to four winners. Sweynesse, the sire of Hong Kong Group 1 winner Lucky Sweynesse, will stand the upcoming breeding season at Novara Park for a fee of NZ$10,000 (plus GST).
Duramente proving a severe loss to stallion ranks
Duramente (King Kamehameha) once again reminded Japanese breeders of his loss to the industry, when his son Champagne Color landed Sunday’s NHK Mile (Gr 1, 1600m) at Tokyo.
Duramente, who died aged nine in September 2021, has now produced five Grade 1 winners from three crops of racing age.
Champagne Color, who beat the filly Umbrail (Lord Kanaloa) by a head, is already the stallion’s second Grade 1 winner this year, after three-year-old filly Liberty Island, a daughter of Australian Group 1 winner Yankee Rose (All American), won the Oka Sho (Gr 1, 1600m) at Hanshin.
His other Grade 1 winners are Titleholder, a three-time elite-level scorer, who finished 11th in last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Gr 1, 2400m) for Japan, dual Grade 1 winner Stars On Earth and Dura Erede, winner of the Hopeful Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m) at Nakayama in December.
A winner of five races from nine starts on the track, including the Satsuki Sho (Gr 1, 2000m) and Tokyo Yushun (Gr 1, 2400m), Duramente also added stakes winner number 14 as three-year-old colt Lugal won the Tachibana Stakes (Listed, 1400m) at Kyoto. Duramente has had 454 runners.
Elsewhere in Japan on Sunday, King Kamehameha (Kingmambo) sired his 41st individual stakes winner through Grand Officier in a Listed race over 2400 metres at Tokyo.
Good Fight (Super One) caused a big upset when he made most of the running to win the Combined Class 3 & 4 event over 1400 metres at Sungei Besi on Saturday, continuing to make his presence felt since moving to Malaysia just over a year ago.
The son of Super One (I Am Invincible) managed just one win in nine starts in Singapore but has now picked up four wins in ten appearances under trainer Simon Dunderdale.
Two starts back, Good Fight went down to Perfect (Playing God) in a Supreme C event over 1400 metres on his track. He finished down the field when Perfect won again in a Class 3, 1400-metre contest three weeks ago.
Perfect was expected to complete a hat-trick and punters backed him to start odds-on. But the favourite failed to fire and finished a tame fifth.
Good Fight, on the other hand, surged to the front after 200 metres to lead the rest of the way home, winning by a length and three-quarters.
The day’s proceedings were cut short after jockeys Khaw Choon Jit and Chong Kar Hoong fell in race six, leaving no ambulances on standby for the final two races.