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Gerald Mosse celebrates as Beauty Flash heads to the unsaddling area.
In the HK$16 million ($2.1 million U.S.) Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile (G1), the world's richest turf mile race, a full field of 14 older horses went to post for the 1600 meter (about 1 mile) trip around one turn of the Sha Tin turf. However, behind the starting gate the veterinarian scratched expected favorite Able One due to lameness, leaving 13 to load, including 2-1 favorie Paco Boy, who finished behind Goldikova in his last two starts, the Prix de la Foret (G1) at Longchamp and the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) at Churchill Downs. In to challenge him included 5-2 second choice Thumbs Up, second in the Jockey Club Mile (G2) after winning the Sha Tin Trophy, and 7-1 third choice Sahpresa, fourth in the Mile Championship (G1) at Kyoto after winning the Sun Chariot (G1) at Newmarket.
Beauty Flash leads down the center in the stretch
Jockey Douglas Whyte sent 46-1 Sight Winner to the front soon after the start, and he set easy fractions of 24.77, 47.74, and 1:11.77 over the good turf, while being stalked by 9-1 Beauty Flash and 8-1 Chater Way down the backstretch and around the turn. Sight Winner continued to lead to mid-stretch before tiring, allowing Beauty Flash to inherit the lead at the 1/8 pole. 23-1 Royal Bench put in a strong late rally on the outside but Beauty Flash was up to the task, holding him off in the final strides to win by 3/4 length in 1:34.79. It was another 1/2 length back to Sahpresa third, while favorite Paco Boy disappointed in last, but just 4 1/4 lengths behind the winner.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 4 Beauty Flash Mosse 28.60 11.80 8.40 12 Royal Bench Peslier 14.40 12.30 14 Sahpresa Lemaire 6.70 Winning Time: 1:34.79 $2 Exacta 4-12 742.50 $2 Quinella 4-12 179.50 $2 Trifecta 4-12-ALL 1,502.30 $2 Superfecta 4-12-14-ALL 19,628.30 * Note that these are the payoffs for the North American pool at Woodbine.Results Chart from HKJC with video replay
Left: Beauty Flash heads back to the barn in his winner's blanket. His trainer Tony Cruz said, "It's all a matter of timing. Sometimes you can't push a horse too hard when you're riding him or training him, but sometimes you know when to ask him and he'd been so well in the last few weeks I was very confident that he must finish in the first three. I'd like to take this horse overseas to race. Take him to Dubai, Japan. Some of the biggest mile races in the world."
Right: Beauty Flash's connections celebrate in the winner's circle. At right are trainer Tony Cruz and owners Mr. and Mrs. Kwok Siu Ming.
Left: Beauty Flash heads out to the track before the race.
Right: Jockey Gerald Mosse celebrates while Beauty Flash parades for the fans. Mosse said, "I knew Beauty Flash had won a Group 1 going forward so we got off to a good start and even though I couldn't actually lead, I was happy to be camped on the speed. The more I asked of him, the more he gave. I felt the horse pick up by himself and he ran on like a superstar. What a horse. It's good to be here and win for Hong Kong because Hong Kong does a lot for the races."
Left: Second place finisher Royal Bench returns to the unsaddling area after the race. His jockey Olivier Peslier said, "We were pushed wide on the home turn and yet the horse finished like a train. It shows how good he is and I think his connections will have good fun with him in the next few months. I hear he could be headed to Dubai."
Right: Third place finisher Sahpresa returns after the race. Her jockey Christophe Lemaire said, "We hit the front a bit too soon and I knew then she'd find it hard to find the line. But she ran very well and I am pleased with her."
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