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Amazing Star emerges as an improbable ruler in the G2 Sprint Cup

April 7, 2021, 6:49:14 AM

Jimmy Ting, who was stunned by an Easter Monday miracle, is impossible to tempt fate again by shooting blowout G2 Sprint Cup (1200m) winner Amazing Star at the G1 Chairman's Sprint Prize (1200m) at Sha Tin on FWD Champions Day on 25 April.

Ting jubilated in one of the jurisdiction's biggest feature race upsets, Amazing Star – a 178/1 bolter – briefly destroying 2.8 favorite Wellington's status as Hong Kong's sprint heir apparent.

The son of Darci Brahma enjoyed a flawless trail behind the pace under Vagner Borges before striking the lead and then withstanding a searing late charge from Stronger in his previous five outings, finishing no closer than fourth.

Beauty Applause finished third, ahead of Wishful Thinker, and Wellington finished sixth, two and a half lengths out of the leader.

“I really can't believe it,” Ting said as he celebrated the most significant victory of his training career after being awarded a full license in 2018/19.

“Perhaps the tempo was a little too quick for him, but it was a comfortable run. We were very fortunate.

“I didn't think we should win in the first few minutes. Only in the last 200 metres did I think he had a chance.

“I didn't think he could win at the start of the race. I was hoping he could manage a company.

“This is my greatest victory. Hopefully, there will be more.”

Borges, a four-time Brazilian champion jockey, exalted in the largest payout of his career after winning the HK$4.5 million race atop a galloper who had never won at Sha Tin despite five previous victories at Happy Valley.

“I'm overjoyed, it's my first Group win in Hong Kong, I'm overjoyed – there are no words to express how proud I am,” Borges said.

“I'm overjoyed, it's my first Group win in Hong Kong, I'm overjoyed – there are no words to express how proud I am,” Borges said.

“As the race began, the horse jumped well and the pace was good, so I just sat there. When I asked the horse for an answer, he replied admirably, and I was able to complete the task.”

Borges' 19th win in Hong Kong this term.

“I've had to adjust to both racetracks since I based myself here, and I know how competitive it is, but day by day, I keep getting stronger, and hopefully from now on, I will get some more support,” he said.

Wellington, widely regarded as the most likely successor to Hong Kong's sprint throne, was caught wide and unable to deliver his trademark finishing blast, although Douglas Whyte is likely to pursue the Chairman's Sprint Prize with Stronger following his disastrous result.

Glorious Dragon will compete in the G1 FWD QEII Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on April 25 after winning the Class 1 Peak Handicap (2000m) for Francis Lui and Matthew Poon.

“Everyone knew the tempo was going to be sluggish, and he had to bear the weight (131lb), but before the race we debated wanting to be more positive to relax midfield, but when he jumped, he was only a little slow,” Lui said. It took a lot of time for him to win from where he was.

“I assume he has risen to a better degree – he has continued to improve. He has a powerful fighting spirit.”

Lui confirmed a FWD QEII Cup run, saying, "I'm not sure whether we can match the Japanese horses." I just got the horse this season, so I'm not sure how much more he will go, but something is looking up.”

Poon assumes that the gray will change more.

“He didn't ride very easily because there wasn't much speed, but he has a huge heart, and he had to battle his way between two horses, and he feels very good doing it.

“He's in excellent shape, and he wants to succeed. I guess he's a gentleman.”

Dual champion trainer David Hayes unveiled talented sprinter Trader, who won the second division of the Class 4 Lugard Handicap (1200m) on debut under Zac Purton.

Purton won the second part of the Class 3 Harlech Handicap (1200m) with Danny Shum and Regency Bo Bo, before Joao Moreira drove Super Winner to a narrow victory in the Class 4 Peel Handicap (1400m) for Dennis Yip.

Hurry up and wait Gain faced mid-race losses to win the Class 3 Harlech Handicap (1200m) for Vincent Ho and Frankie Lor, taking his record to two wins and a second from three races, after Blake Shinn led Maldives home for David Hall in the Class 4 Severn Handicap (1600m).

Jerry Chau took the Class 3 Homestead Handicap (1400m) on Private Rocket for Douglas Whyte, defeating Joao Moreira on Kasi Farasi by a short head.

On Thursday, racing in Hong Kong resumes at Happy Valley (8 April).