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The Hong Kong Bloodstock Review - Aussie-bred jockeys and horses to the fore

5 min read
In this week's review, the riding skills of Blake Shinn were in full effect at the Hong Kong meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday, as David Hayes' blistering start to the season continued, setting up a near clean sweep of the card for Australian-bred runners.

Nine of the 10 winners on Sunday's card were bred in Australia, with Hayes securing a treble of Australian-bred winners as a trainer, taking his total to six for the season, while Shinn finished with four in the saddle and Zac Purton notched his 1300th career Hong Kong winner.

Hayes and Purton combined with King's Capital (Animal Kingdom {USA}) in the Class 4, Ngau Tau Kok H. over 1400 metres, the fifth race on the program.

The 5-year-old, who was purchased for $60,000 from the draft of his breeders at Arrowfield Stud through the 2018 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale by Kiltannon Stables, was a two-time winner in New Zealand for Mark Forbes.

He was unable to win in nine starts for Hayes last season but kicked off his new campaign in style when Purton brought him from just behind the pace for a narrow win. Out of stakes-placed mare, Dual Star (Starcraft {NZ}), he becomes the third winner in Hong Kong for former Arrowfield Stud shuttle stallion Animal Kingdom (USA).

Hayes paid tribute to Purton's role in helping him adjust to being back in Hong Kong last season, in what proved a difficult campaign.

Zac Purton

“He (Purton) really helped me settle in, he was good and a big help through my quiet run,” Hayes told reporters. “He won on some important ones for me last year, they weren’t big wins – but they were wins.”

Thunder rumbles on debut

Hayes also linked up for two winners with Shinn, who notched his first ever Hong Kong four-timer.

The first winner for the combination was debutant Lord Thunder (Night Of Thunder {Ire}), who was a comfortable victor in the 1200 metre Class 4 Lam Tim H.

Lord Thunder as a yearling

Lord Thunder was bred by Yulong Investments and was sold initially as a weanling through the Inglis Great Southern Sale in 2018, where he secured $50,000 to Bleakley Bloodstock. He then returned through the ring as part of the Highden Park draft at the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale in 2019, where he was purchased by John Foote Bloodstock for NZ$120,000.

He trialled once in Australia under the name You're Thor before heading to Hong Kong, where he has impressed at his trials and started long odds-on favourite at his first start.

“He did a few little things wrong, he was a little bit tardy away – but then he mustered speed beautifully and settled well in the box seat. He presented like he was going to win by 3I but just floated a little bit,” Shinn said.

“He (Lord thunder) did a few little things wrong, he was a little bit tardy away – but then he mustered speed beautifully and settled well in the box seat." - Blake Shinn

“There’s plenty of upside. He’s a lovely horse. He was well-presented today and it’s nice to be given the opportunity to ride these exciting young horses.”

Lord Thunder is out of Xanthippe (Street Cry {Ire}), a half-sister to Group 2 winner Federal (Medaglia D'Oro {USA}), and is descended from multiple Group 1-winning mare (My) Gold Hope (NZ) (John's Hope)

He is the first Hong Kong winner for Night Of Thunder (Ire), who shuttled to Darley Australia for one season.

Shinn and Hayes then linked up with Super Wealthy (Epaulette) in the Class 2 Choi Hung H. as he swopped late to score a thrilling win in the 1000-metre race in his first run for the stable.

Blake Shinn

Super Wealthy, who had won his only start in Australia for Jason Coyle when named Covert Operation, was a three-time winner for Douglas Whyte before joining Hayes' stable this season.

A $50,000 Bhima Thoroughbreds graduate from the 2017 Inglis Classic Sale, where he was purchased by Familia Nominees and Homann Bloodstock, Super Wealthy is out of American stakes winner Well Hidden (More Than Ready {USA}).

"That horse, I just love him. He’s just a beautiful horse and I was hoping he would do something like that today,” Shinn said.

Breaking droughts

Shinn had earlier led all the way in the first race on the card, the Class 5 Sau Mau Ping H. over 1400 metres to give the Dennis Yip-trained Light My Day (Dawn Approach {Ire}) his second win in 23 starts.

Dawn Approach (Ire), sire of Light My Day

Light My Day, bred by Michael Rea in Victoria, is one of eight winners from Group 3-winning mare Clothilde (Danehill {USA}).

Shinn also broke a drought aboard the Michael Chang-trained Golden Four (Denman) in the Class 5 San Po Kong H. The 7-year-old had been winless since January 2020.

The 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast 2YOs In Training Sale graduate was bred by Glenn Heran is out of Gingerbread (Kempinsky), the half-sister to stakes winners Tycoon Ruler (Last Tycoon {Ire}) and Lago Delight (Encosta De Lago).

Chang also had Press Statement's Steel Win secure his second successive win in the Class 4 Lam Tin H. over 1200 metres, ridden to perfection by Joao Moreira. Bred by Reg Ryan, he is another Magic Millions Gold Coast 2YOs In Training Sale, having been purchased for $37,500 in 2019.

Arrowfield Stud-bred Flying Bonus (Snitzel), who raced as Bowerman in Australia and placed in a Listed Breeders' Plate, prospered on the all-weather track to win the Kowloon Bay H. over 1200 metres, landing his fourth Hong Kong victory for Yip. He is the brother to $1.1 million yearling Adana, who won four races in Australia for Chris Waller.

Super One, now a resident at Newhaven Park, continues to be well-represented in Hong Kong by the Jimmy Ting-trained Gluck Racer, who notched his third career win at his sixth start in the Class 3 Diamond Hill H. over 1200 metres. That was jockey Chad Schofield's first winner of the season.

The other Australian-bred winner on Sunday's card was My Sugar (Deep Field), who made it three wins in seven starts when Purton got him home in the Class 3 Kwun Ting H. over 1400 metres.

He was a $26,000 Inglis Scone Yearling Sale graduate in 2018 and is a half-brother to Listed winner Cathay Lady (Exceed And Excel) and stakes-placed Extensible (Exceed And Excel).

Hong Kong
Sha Tin
Bloodstock Review
David Hayes
Blake Shinn
Zac Purton
Lord Thunder
King's Capital
Super Wealthy