Hong Kong dominates International races
Australian representative Linton failed to shine and the European challenge fell flat as locals dominated the Hong Kong International meeting at Sha Tin.
Hong Kong-trained horses won three of Sunday’s four Group One races – the Vase (Dominant), the Mile (Glorious Days) and the Cup (Akeed Mofeed) with Japan’s Lord Kanaloa winning the Sprint.
Linton, winner of the Stradbroke Handicap earlier this year, beat just one runner home in the Mile in which French star Moonlight Cloud also found the going tough, finishing sixth.
“He just didn’t fire today,” Linton’s jockey Damien Oliver said.
“He was well below his best and didn’t kick like he can when he’s at his best.
It was Linton’s last run for trainer John Sadler and Malua Racing with Marco Botti to take over when the horse heads to Dubai.
“It was disappointing to come halfway round the world and run like that,” Malua’s Troy Corstens said.
“He was well and truly below his best.
“The trip across and maybe losing that bit of weight hasn’t helped him.
“Hopefully he can go up to Dubai and do better.”
Moonlight Cloud, who came closer than any other horse to beating Black Caviar, will now be retired.
Her owner George Strawbridge said he was proud of his seven-time Group One winner.
“I think that will be it. She has been a wonderful servant and I am more than hopeful that she will prove just as good as a broodmare,” Strawbridge said.
“Looking at her now, walking round after her race, she looks fantastic and I am very proud of what she has achieved.”
Dual Sprint winner Lord Kanaloa has also run his last race and will now head to stud.
His win was explosive as he left the field in his wake to win by five lengths in a race marred by a fatal injury to English filly Jwala.
There was an Australian flavour to the Vase with ex-pat Zac Purton riding Dominant for John Moore while another Hong Kong-based Aussie, John Size, sent out Glorious Days to win the Mile.
Douglas Whyte, who has been in the shadow of Purton this season, pulled out wins on Glorious Days and Akeed Mofeed who beat Japan’s Tokei Halo with Cirrus des Aigles third in the Cup.