Karaka graduate Mr Stunning (Exceed and Excel) continued his rise to the very top of Hong Kong’s sprinters with victory in Sunday’s HK$4 million BOCHK Jockey Club Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin.
Making just the 15th start of his career, he brought up his ninth victory and thrust himself into contention for the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint over the same course and distance next month.
With Nash Rawiller in the saddle, the John Size-trained Mr Stunning dropped back in the field early in the race but crept into a closer position when the pace slowed through the middle stages. He burst to the lead in the straight and kept going strongly to the line to win by a length and a half.
“He’s an absolute star, he’s so push-button,” Rawiller said. “Today he jumped first out of the gates and I dropped my hands on his neck and he just came straight back under me. He was a dream to ride throughout the run. Even when the pace slowed up dramatically, it probably put the whole race out of whack, but he’s nimble on his feet and he was able to capitalise on that.
“I was able to roll forward into the race and he put it beyond doubt at the 300 metres, he was travelling very comfortably and it was just a matter of letting him go to win the race.”
Mr Stunning has now earned HK$16.48 million in prize-money for his owner Maurice Koo Win Chong, which is more than 12 times his $250,000 purchase price at Karaka.
The New Zealand-bred Amazing Kids (NZ) (Falkirk) finished second, with Karaka graduate D B Pin (NZ) (Darci Brahma) completing the trifecta.
The Jockey Club Sprint result capped an outstanding day for New Zealand-breds, with superstar galloper Werther (NZ) (Tavistock) previously winning the HK$4 million BOCHK Jockey Club Cup (2000m).
Vendor Lyndhurst Farm
Purchaser Magus Equine (Hong Kong)
Breeding Exceed and Excel – With Fervour
Sale Lot 338, 2014 Premier Sale, $250,000
Mr Stunning and Nash Rawiller leave the BOCHK Hong Kong Jockey Club Sprint (1200m) field behind, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club