Ping Hai Star (NZ) (Nom du Jeu), who could have been bought for $40,000 at the 2015 Select Sale, took out one of Asian racing’s greatest prizes in Sunday’s HK$18 million BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) at Sha Tin.
The John Size-trained gelding was ridden by global superstar jockey Ryan Moore and dropped back to last place in the 14-horse field. He produced a dazzling finishing burst in the home straight, soaring past his rivals and racing clear to win by a length and three-quarters.
“He’s a very talented horse, I had great fun riding him today,” Moore said.
“It wasn’t really the plan, to be that far back, at all. I just felt I’d ride him with lots of confidence – I believed before the race that he was the one horse that could have more class than anything else in the race, and I think that showed.
“He’s just a high-quality horse with a very good turn of foot; when you get on him he’s a big, solid, strong horse, very powerful underneath you.”
Raced by Zeng Shengli, Ping Hai Star has had seven starts for four wins and two placings. He has earned HK$14.453 million in prizemoney – the equivalent of NZ$2.55 million.
“You can't win a race any more dominantly than that. He was the class horse that came out of the pack, so he’s identified himself today,” Size said.
Ping Hai Star was bred by Glen and Lisa Morton and was offered by Highden Park at Karaka. Ping Hai Star is the second Hong Kong Derby-winning Highden Park graduate in three years, following the 2016 winner Werther (NZ) (Tavistock).
Vendor Highden Park
Breeding Nom du Jeu – Vicky
Sale Lot 775, 2015 Select Sale, Psd (Res $40,000)
Bred by G B & Mrs L A Morton