Australian-breds Stunning success in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Group One winner Mr Stunning

Australian bred Hong Kong Group One winner Mr Stunning (HKJC)


With the Hong Kong racing season drawing to a close this Sunday, a review of black type racing there shows that Australian-bred racehorses have again dominated in 2017/18 with success in 11 of 34 such races.

Australia has long had success in Hong Kong with Champion Horse of the Year awards going the way of Fairy King Prawn (twice), Silent Witness (twice), Sacred Kingdom and Able Friend, while the ill-fated Rapper Dragon is the reigning title holder.

The juggernaut continues…winning at Hong Kong’s elite Group One level over the past 12 months were Mr Stunning, Seasons Bloom and Ivictory, while Mr Stunning (twice) and Seasons Bloom chimed in with Group Two victories, as did Beat The Clock.

Dashing Fellow (Group Three National Day Cup), Eagle Way (Group Three January Cup), Winner’s Way (Group Three Sha Tin Vase) and Nothingilikemore (Listed Hong Kong Classic Mile) also chimed in with stakes victories.

Bred in Victoria by Makybe Racing & Breeding and originally sold for $110,000 at the 2013 Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale, Mr Stunning was an instant success in Hong Kong and was duly recognised as Champion Griffin for 2015/16.

At one stage residing in the top 10 sprinters on the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings, Mr Stunning’s victories in 2017/18 include the Group One Hong Kong Sprint and Group Two pairing of the Jockey Club Sprint and Premier Bowl.

With 10 wins and six placings from 19 starts for a whopping HK$33 million (approx. A$5.7 million), Mr Stunning was also second in the Group One Centenary Sprint Cup.

Seasons Bloom, meanwhile, has gone from Pakenham maiden winner to Group One Stewards’ Cup hero in January and he too had a stellar run with other victories including the Group Two BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Mile, plus a Group One third.

Bred in Queensland by Raheen Stud, the Captain Sonador 5YO was another weanling buy – bought by Ampulla Lodge for $26,000 at the 2013 Magic Millions National Sale, briefly raced then sold to Hong Kong. He is now the winner of over A$3 million in prizemoney.

Mossman 4YO Ivictory rounds out the Group One winning trio with his Chairman’s Sprint Prize in April capping a tremendous stint in Hong Kong where he has won seven of his eight starts and was unbeaten this season.

Again, Ivictory was sold as a weanling – for $67,500 at the 2014 Magic Millions National before being pinhooked to the 2015 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale where he was knocked down for $80,000.

Similarly, the Hinchinbrook 4YO Beat The Clock enjoyed a massive year, capturing the Group Two Sprint Cup and never finishing outside the first three in six outings. Other placings included the Group One Chairman’s Sprint Prize (behind Ivictory and Mr Stunning) and a head second in the Group One Silver Jubilee Cup.

Beat The Clock was originally sold for $70,000 at the 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

Indeed, each of the eight individual Australian-bred stakes winners in Hong Kong throughout 2017/18 was originally sold at an Australian sale.

Hong Kong Black-Type wins in racing season 2017-2018 (by breeding origin)

AustraliaNew ZealandIrelandSouth AfricaGreat BritainGermanyFranceUSATotal run

Not surprisingly, four Australian-bred stars are in contention for Horse of the Year honours at the Champion Awards to be announced in Hong Kong this weekend, while a further four have been nominated in other categories.

Mr Stunning and Ivictory (both nominated for Champion Sprinter), plus Seasons Bloom and Nothingilikemore (Champion Stayer) are vying for Horse of the Year status.

Handsome Bo Bo (by Helmet), Lean Perfection (by Sebring) and Raging Storm (by Fastnet Rock) are nominees for Champion Griffin.

Meanwhile, Hot King Prawn (by Denman) and Ivictory are contesting the ‘Most Improved Racehorse’ gong.

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