Clock chimes for Size as Santa's bid falls short

4 min read
The John Size trained Beat The Clock claimed his second Group 1 success in the G1 Chairman's Sprint Prize at Sha Tin.

Australian-bred and locally-trained sprinter Beat The Clock (Hinchinbrook) repelled the international invasion to keep the G1 Chairman's Sprint Prize in Hong Kong with a much-deserved second Group 1 success on Sunday.

Five-time Australian Group 1 winner Santa Ana Lane (Lope de Vega {Ire}) was well-fancied to join Chautauqua (Encosta De Lago) as an Australian-trained winner of the race, but it ended up being an all Hong Kong-trained first three with Beat The Clock overpowering Rattan (NZ) (Savabeel), with Little Giant (NZ) (Swiss Ace) third.

Santa Ana Lane settled last off a slow pace and always faced a tough task of reeling in the leaders, and while he closed well for fourth with the strongest final sectionals of the race, he was still some 2.25l from the winner.

"Well I don't think we saw the best of him but take nothing away from the winner, he was too good today," jockey Hugh Bowman said.

"Take nothing away from the winner, he was too good today." - Jockey Hugh Bowman

Australia's other hope Viddora (I Am invincible), who overcame a pre-race injury scare to take her place, finished eighth, 6.75l from the winner in what may prove her final race.

"She hasn't had the ideal week but to be honest she just raced a bit flat," jockey Joe Bowditch said.

Beat The Clock was bred by Jill Henderson and was a $70,000 buy out of the Yarraman Park draft at the 2015 Melbourne Premier Sale for New Zealand-based Prima Park Bloodstock. He was then purchased by Bill Mitchell out of the NZB Ready To Run Sale for $200,000 before embarking on what has been remarkably consistent career in Hong Kong.

He has never missed place in 21 career starts, and secured a first Group 1 victory in January's Centenary Sprint Cup.

He is prepared by ex-pat Australian John Size and was ridden by Joao Moreira to perfection.

"It's such a pleasure to be on board of him. He's very consistent, he never runs a bad race," Moreira said. "The team has done an amazing job, from John to his assistant trainer, and his owner has been very trustful in giving me chance to be on board of him."

"He never runs a bad race." - Jockey Joao Moreira

"I was extremely happy with the way the race panned out. I would say it went perfect for him. Rattan didn’t give up, he was dashing for home, but fortunately we had a very brave horse who always tries his best," Moreira said.

Clock a joy for Size

Size described the 5-year-old as a delight to train and a horse who has improved as he has aged.

"He is a joy to take to the races, because he is so consistent and is such a willing participant. At five-years of age, this should be his best season and he's done that and delivered," he said.

"He's quite versatile, it's often just a matter of the day and the circumstances of the race working out for him."

"He is a joy to take to the races, because he is so consistent and is such a willing participant." - Trainer John Size

Size said Beat The Clock would be spelled now and set for further Group 1 sprints in the new season.

"That will be enough for him. He's done a really good job and I don’t think he's got another run in him. That warm weather will come now and he's better off not working and saving him for next season," he said.

He is one of three Group 1 winners for the Yarraman Park's late stallion Hinchinbrook and joined Press Statement as a multiple Group 1 winner by the stallion.

His dam Flion Finena (Lion Hunter) has produced one other winner, Pell Mell (Charge Forward), while she has a Rubick colt who was sold at last year's Inglis Classic Sale and is now in New Zealand.

She was sold to Eureka Stud at last year's Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale for $120,000 and subsequently had a filly by Your Song before visiting Smart Missile.

Bright upset in QEII

Japanese raider Win Bright (Jpn) (Stay Gold {Jpn}) caused a considerable upset in the G1 FWD QEII Cup,

Ridden by Masami Matsuoka, Win Bright set a new Sha Tin 2000m track record of 1:58.81, charging through to defeat local hope Exultant (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) who was ridden by Zac Purton, by 0.75l of a length with another Japanese trained galloper, Lys Gracieux (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}), close-up in third.

He joins the Neorealism (Jpn) (Neo Universe {Jpn}) and Rulership (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}) as Japanese winners of the race.