The Duke's a King over the Hong Kong Mile

The HK$16 Million Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile (1600m), always considered one of the toughest miles in the world, was taken out by the locally trained The Duke from Caspar Fownes' stables, ridden by Frenchman Olivier Doleuze.

Italian contender Ramonti did his best to lead from barrier to box along with Sir Ernesto, but The Duke was looking every inch a King over the final stages with Doleuze giving the seven-year-old a dream run throughout.

John Size's Armada (Douglas Whyte) gave the home team something to cheer about as they completed the quinella with Ramonti (Edmondo Botti) battling on well for third, giving his Italian rider as much as he could.

The time was very quick with the 1 minute 33.4 run just one-tenth of a second outside a track record standing for 23 years.

Caspar Fownes who is currently leading the Hong Kong Trainer's Premiership was thrilled;

'I'm so very pleased to have won this race.

'We planned his campaign so this was his fourth race as he always seems to win on his fourth start each year.

'Although he is a seven year old he is in the form of his life and it's great that he has finally won this race.

'It's my first Group One win and it's very special.'

The Duke (Jockey Olivier Doleuze) captures the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile (International Group 1-1600M) with a head margin from another Hong Kong runner Armada (Douglas Whyte). Picture Hong Kong Jockey Club.


'It is a special day, special story and special horse!' said Doleuze

'The pace was perfect for me and in the straight I made a move and got a slight lead and that is what won the race for me because Douglas (Whyte) was coming very hard at the finish.'

'I'm very happy with the run and it was an especially good effort from the draw.' Botti said.

' I hoped I might get an easy lead early but he showed he is up to running in this class and he kept on well.'

Comments from the connections of the other runners:

2nd - Douglas Whyte (Armada):

'What can I say? The post came a stride too soon. He ran brilliantly, he gave me everything.'

3rd - Brett Prebble (Bullish Luck):

'That was a solid run. He's had an interrupted preparation ?he always runs well and he will improve further.'

4th Edmondo Botti (Ramonti):

'Very happy with the run and an especially good effort from the draw. I hoped I might get an easy lead early but he showed he is up to running in this class and he kept on well.'

7th Frankie Dettori (Floral Pegasus):

'He ran OK. He settled nicely but the last 200 metres were too much for him. These were top class milers and at this level he is not quite good enough at this trip.'

8th Edgar Prado (Rebel Rebel):

'He broke well but was not good enough at the end.'

9th Felix Coetzee (Sir Ernesto)

'I wanted to lead but the Italian horse pressured him and we couldn't get in front. It was too much for him in the end.' 

10th Eric Saint- Martin (Russian Pearl):

'He was just not good enough.'

11th - Gerald Mosse (Bowmans Crossing):

'He pulled up sore.'

13th ?Michael Kinane (Dave's Best)

'Never really got into it. I don't think he's found his form yet.'

14th Declan McDonagh (Mustameet):
'I had a nice position but he was under pressure a long way from home. He just emptied in the straight.'

Additional reporting Hong Kong Jockey Club.