FWD Champions Day again showcases the best of Hong Kong with emerging talent measured by record turnover
April 26, 2021, 8:16:34 AM
According to Club CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, a historic FWD Champions Day capped by Vincent Ho's G1 double, record turnover, and the appearance of a new future champion demonstrate Hong Kong racing's strength and attractiveness.
Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges projected Courier Wonder will finally follow Wellington – winner of the Chairman's Sprint Prize – to stardom, citing Ho's attempt to stretch Golden Sixty's winning streak to 14 with victory in the FWD Champions Mile before partnering Japan's Loves Only You to victory in the FWD QEII Cup.
“It's fantastic to see people returning to the racecourse for a gathering of this caliber,” Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges said, thanking the 5719 Sha Tin attendees who adhered to strict biosecurity controls.
“Golden Sixty maintained his undefeated record, and judging from the performances of Loves Only You and Wellington, it was an incredible day.
“I would like to thank everyone who has helped to keep the Racing Bubble running. It was particularly rewarding that our Japanese friends trusted our structures enough to come here and, with the support of the HKSAR Government, we were able to stage an amazing FWD Champions Day.
“We witnessed some incredible displays from the Japanese riders, who once again demonstrated their superiority at distances of 2000m and beyond. It was fantastic for Loves Only You to come here from Dubai and win.”
Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges claimed that the HK$1.611 billion in sales demonstrated Hong Kong racing's attractiveness and durability.
“We were able to get our fans back at the track with the help of the Government – and the way they trust us – and the support of our sponsor,” Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges said before turning his attention to three-year-old Courier Wonder, who continued his undefeated run in the Class 2 FWD Insurance My Legend Handicap (1200m) to win a HK$1 million High Achievement Bonus.
Horses with a minimum ranking of 80 who win a Class 2 race by the age of five are eligible for the bonus.
“The horse in the last race has the potential to become one of the best horses in Hong Kong, and overall, I believe the success of the meeting earned it the title of Champions Day, which is a fantastic achievement for us.”
Mr Andrew Harding, Executive Director of Racing, described Ho's rise to international renown as "a very proud day in the history of the Racing Development Board."
“The Club makes a very big contribution and investment in local talent and growth because we are absolutely committed to realising the opportunity that clearly exists in Hong Kong,” said Mr Harding.
“In Vincent's situation, it's a big investment. It meant spending a considerable amount of time overseas with Lance O'Sullivan. It goes farther than that. Once his apprenticeship was over, we partnered with him to gain international recognition, and people like Ryan Moore saw his talent and decided to help us.
“It often necessitates the assistance of coaches and contacts. It is because of their encouragement that Vincent has been able to demonstrate his talent.”