At Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong, Coolmore's deceased 7-time Group 1 winner and champion sire Giant's Causeway (Storm Cat-Mariah's Storm, by Rahy) added a Group race success when 5YO US-bred gelding California Whip (Giant's Causeway-Canterbury Lace, by Danehill) was able to hold off a number of late challengers to score a narrow win in the HK$3 million Gr3 Premier Cup (1400m), defeating Born In China & Lucky Bubbles. A $250,000 purchase at the 2013 Keeneland November Breeding Sale, California Whip improved his record to 5 wins and 13 placings from 28 starts for £870,401 in earnings.
At Sha Tin in Hong Kong, Darley's former Champion Australian Sire Exceed And Excel (Danehill-Patrona, by Lomond) celebrated an elite race success when 5YO Australian-bred gelding Mr Stunning (Exceed And Excel-With Fervour, by Dayjur) proved too slick for his rivals in scoring a decisive win in the HK$18 million Gr1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) for 3YO+, defeating Lucky Bubbles & Peniaphobia. This was the first Group 1 victory for Mr Stunning who was purchased by Magnus Equine for $250,000 at the 2014 NZB Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Lyndhurst Stud. He improved his record to 10 wins (including the Gr2 Jockey Club Sprint, Gr2 Premier Bowl & Gr2 HKJC Sprint Cup) and 3 placings (including the HKJC Chairman's Sprint Prize) from 16 starts for HK$27,023,600 in earnings.
A total of 293 horses have been nominated at the first stage for the HK$84.5 million Hong Kong International Races which will take place at Sha Tin racecourse on Sunday, 10 December. The meeting consists of four Group One events, namely the HK$25 million Gr1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m), the HK$23 million Gr1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m), the HK$18.5 million Gr1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m), and the HK$18 million Gr1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m). Among the overseas stars entered are top-class UK miler Ribchester, Ballydoyle stable-mates Highland Reel and Roly Poly, Japan's QEII Cup winner Neorealism, and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe runner-up Cloth Of Stars. The home contingent includes former Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther, last year's Hong Kong Mile winner Beauty Only, and gun sprinters Lucky Bubbles and Mr Stunning. There are 17 Australian horses entered, including Gr1 winners Vega Magic, Redkirk Warrior, and Boom Time, as well as Takedown and In Her Time.
At Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong, Darley's former Champion Australian Sire Exceed And Excel (Danehill-Patrona, by Lomond) added a Group race success when 5YO by gelding Mr Stunning (Exceed And Excel-With Fervour, by Dayjur) maintained his perfect second-up record when defying top weight of 60kg to score a strong 0.5 length win in the HK$4 million Gr2 Premier Bowl (1200m), defeating Lucky Bubbles & Amazing Kids. Purchased by Magnus Equine for $250,000 from the 2014 NZB Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Lyndhurst Stud, Mr Stunning improved his record to 8 wins (including the Gr2 HKJC Sprint Cup) and 3 placings (including the HKJC Chairman’s Sprint Prize) from 14 starts for HK$14,198,600 in earnings.
Meanwhile, all of Arrowfield's 2017 shuttle stallions have now arrived at the Hunter Valley farm, ready to parade for guests and visitors at next week's Open House. Champion European 2YO colt Shalaa arrived first from Haras de Bouqeutot in France, while last week’s arrivals are Animal Kingdom, soon to serve his fourth Australian book; Real Impact, making his second trip south; and newcomers Maurice & Mikki Isle. Fittingly, dual Gr1 winner Real Impact arrived only a few days after his first Arrowfield foal was born – out of the Flying Spur mare Laissez Faire from the family of Colorado Claire (dam of Gunnison), Lunaspur (dam of Moonovermanhattan) and Bubble Below (dam of Lucky Bubbles). Japan's 2015 Horse of the Year Maurice and 2016 Champion Sprinter-Miler Mikki Isle complete Arrowfield's triumvirate of Japanese superstars and will serve their first Australian mares this Spring. Real Impact & Mikki Isle are the only sons of Japanese super-sire Deep Impact standing in Australia. Arrowfield Stud’s stallion parades feature its 12-stallion roster headed by Champion Sires Redoute's Choice & Snitzel during morning and afternoon sessions over three days, as follows:
FRIDAY 25 AUGUST: 9am – 12 noon (full stallion parade at 9.30am) & 2pm – 4pm
SATURDAY 26 AUGUST: 9am – 12 noon (full parade at 9.30am) & 2pm – 4pm
SUNDAY 27 AUGUST: 9am – 12 noon (full parade at 9.30am); no afternoon session.
The final nominees for 2016/17 The Hong Kong Jockey Club Champion Awards have been announced. Winners of the Champion Awards will be announced at The Hong Kong Jockey Club Champion Awards 2016/2017 presentation ceremony to be held on Friday, 14 July, at the Grand Ballroom, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. The Champion Awards Judging Panel has also decided to present Lifetime Achievement Awards to Able Friend and Aerovelocity, in recognition of their great contributions to Hong Kong racing. The finalists are:
At Sha Tin in Hong Kong, 6YO Irish-bred gelding Peniaphobia (Dandy Man-Umlani, by Great Commotion) added yet another sprint feature to his impressive black-type CV when scoring a tenacious 0.75 length win for trainer Tony Cruz in the HK$8 million Gr2 Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m) for 3YO+, over 5YO Australian-bred gelding Lucky Bubbles (Sebring-Bubble Below, by Hussonet) & 6YO Australian-bred gelding Not Listenin'tome (Dylan Thomas -Flame of Sydney, by Encosta de Lago). Peniaphobia advanced his record to 12 wins (including the Gr1 Hong Kong Sprint, Gr1 Centenary Sprint Cup, Gr2 Jockey Club Sprint & Gr3 Sha Tin Vase) and 14 placings (including the Gr1 Hong Kong Sprint & Gr3 HKJC National Day Cup) from 33 starts for £3,543,153 earnings.
At Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong, Waikato Stud's Gr1 Australian Guineas-winning stallion Pins (Snippets-No Finer, by Kaoru Star) celebrated an elite Gr1 success when 8YO gelding Aerovelocity (Pins-Exodus, by Kaapstad) scored by a short head for trainer Paul O'Sullivan in the Gr1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m), over 6YO gelding Lucky Bubbles (Sebring-Bubble Below, by Hussonet) & 6YO Irish-bred gelding Peniaphobia (Dandy Man-Umlani, by Great Commotion). In registering his fifth win at Gr1 level, Aerovelocity improved his record to 12 wins (including the Gr1 Centenary Sprint Cup, Gr1 Krisflyer International Sprint, Gr1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen, Gr1 Hong Kong Sprint, Gr2 Premier Bowl Handicap & Gr3 Sha Tin Vase) and 7 placings (including the Gr1 Chairman's Sprint Prize) from 24 starts for NZ$7,828,538 earnings. A son of the Kaapstad mare Exodus (NZ), Aerovelocity was bred by Windsor Park’s Nelson Schick and Steve Till. He was offered by Windsor Park at the 2010 Premier Sale, where he sold to O’Sullivan for $120,000.
At Sha Tin in Hong Kong, Coolmore's former dual Champion Australian Sire Encosta De Lago (Fairy King-Shoal Creek, by Star Way) celebrated an elite success when outstanding Australian-bred 5YO gelding Chautauqua (Encosta de Lago-Lovely Jubly, by Lion Hunter) posted a brilliant last-to-first neck win for trainers John, Wayne and Michael Hawkes in the HK$10 million Gr1 Chairman's Sprint Prize (1200m) for 3YO+, over 4YO Australian-bred geldings Lucky Bubbles (Sebring-Bubble Below, by Hussonet) & Strathmore (Fastnet Rock-Our Egyptian Raine, by Desert Sun). Chautauqua showed why he is considered the pre-eminent sprinter in the world when registering his fifth top-flight success, and his first international triumph. The mighty grey boosted his record to 12 wins (including the Gr1 Lightning Stakes, Gr1 Manikato Stakes, Gr1 TJ Smith Stakes - twice, Gr2 Gilgai Stakes, Gr2 Rubiton Stakes, Gr2 Gilgai Stakes, Gr3 McEwen Stakes, Gr3 Bobbie Lewis Handicap & Gr3 Hawkesbury Guineas) and 8 placings (including the Gr1 Newmarket Handicap - twice, Gr1 Darley Classic & Listed Gosford Guineas) from 22 starts for $6,476,743 earnings. Bred by the Throsby family, who raced his dam Lovely Jubly, Chautauqua was passed in for $300,000 at the 2012 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale and was retained to race by his breeders in partnership with prominent owner Rupert Legh, whose blue and gold lightning bolt silks Chautauqua carried to victory. Chautauqua is the second stakes winner from Gr1 QTC Sires' Produce Stakes & Gr1 QTC TJ Smith Classic winner Lovely Jubly, who has also produced Gr3 SAJC Breeders' Stakes winning filly London Lolly (Charge Forward). Chautauqua is now highly likely to travel to England for either the Gr1 King's Stand Stakes or Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. Having won two legs of the Global Sprint Challenge, Chautauqua is now in line for the US$1 million bonus that is available to any horse that can win a minimum of three Group 1 races across three different jurisdictions (countries). "He's stamped himself again as one the best in the world and we are just so proud to have him. Now there is a million dollar incentive and a good reason to go to England, so the fact that he is nearly half way there I'd say all things being well we'd probably go," part-owner Rupert Legh said.
At Sha Tin in Hong Kong, Australia's Champion 2YO Colt of 2007-2008 and Widden Stud sire Sebring (More Than Ready-Purespeed, by Flying Spur) added a Group success when 4YO Australian-bred gelding Lucky Bubbles (Sebring-Bubble Below, by Hussonet) scored by 2-lengths for trainer Francis Lui in the HK$4 million Gr2 The Sprint Cup (1200m), over 4YO NZ-bred gelding Amazing Kids (Falkirk-Cadence, by Rhythm) & 5YO NZ-bred gelding packing Pins (Pins-Splashing Out, by O'Reilly). This was the first stakes victory for the progressive Lucky Bubbles who advanced his record to 6 wins and 3 placings from 12 starts for $1,465,675 earnings. “For a little horse he just covers so much ground. That’s probably why he’s so good – his stride is so much longer than other horses," jockey Brett Prebble said. “He was just gone, he was awesome. I’ve been very fortunate to ride some very good sprinters in my time and he’s coming along, I’ll tell you. For a young horse, the way he does it, he does it at the front end and then he shows that turn of foot at the back end. It’s hard for them to do that at both ends of the race.” Lucky Bubbles, who was a $90,000 purchase at the 2103 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Three Bridges Thoroughbreds, will have a month's break before contesting the Gr1 Chairman's Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin on 1 May.