Oriental Watch 55th Anniversary Sha Tin Trophy - Gentlemen's Bow Tie Day – Oct 23 Sha Tin Racecourse Oriental Watch 55th Anniversary Sha Tin Trophy - Gentlemen's Bow Tie Day – Oct 23 Sha Tin Racecourse Oriental Watch 55th Anniversary Sha Tin Trophy - Gentlemen's Bow Tie Day – Oct 23 Sha Tin Racecourse Oriental Watch 55th Anniversary Sha Tin Trophy - Gentlemen's Bow Tie Day – Oct 23 Sha Tin Racecourse Oriental Watch 55th Anniversary Sha Tin Trophy - Gentlemen's Bow Tie Day – Oct 23 Sha Tin Racecourse

NEWS

Rome prevails in Oriental Watch 55th Anniversary Sha Tin Trophy

23/10/2016 17:25

by David Morgan

Opportunism and true grit defined a top-class edition of the Group 2 Oriental Watch 55th Anniversary Sha Tin Trophy (Handicap) this afternoon, Sunday 23 October, as Karis Teetan and Designs On Rome (133lb) teamed up for a crowd-raising victory.

  • Karis Teetan rode the John Moore-trained Designs On Rome to victory in the Oriental Watch 55th Anniversary Sha Tin Trophy (Group 2, 1600m) at Sha Tin Racecourse today.
    Karis Teetan rode the John Moore-trained Designs On Rome to victory in the Oriental Watch 55th Anniversary Sha Tin Trophy (Group 2, 1600m) at Sha Tin Racecourse today.

With Beauty Flame (129lb) setting a lethargic tempo through the first half of the 1600m feature, Teetan decided to take the race by the scruff, unleashing Designs On Rome from the rear, skirting the field and grabbing a share of the lead 550m out.

“He won his race around the 700 metres,” Teetan said. “I was drawn one and I didn't want to get blocked in on the rail so waited for them to go, pulled him out and let him find his feet at the back. He’s a clever horse – once I pulled him out and showed him the daylight, at the same time they slowed the pace and I took the decision to let him go.”

A long haul down the Sha Tin straight lay before the six-year-old but the four-time G1 winner was game for the challenge. Firstly the 2014 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup hero repelled Beauty Flame, and when old foe Blazing Speed (133lb) and the sharp finisher Beauty Only (133lb) threatened, the tough bay had their measure, scoring by a neck in 1m 35.36s.

“He doesn’t know how to get beat!” trainer John Moore said. “He knows where the line is, and, anything that comes at him, he just knuckles down. It shows how good a horse he is, with that lightning move by Karis when the pace was slackened, that made the difference between winning and losing. Typical him, he never gives up, he does not know how to lose in a fight. He just dug. He’s still a force to reckon with.”

  • John Moore-trained Design On Rome (No. 4), ridden by Karis Teetan, edges Blazing Speed (No. 2) to win the Oriental Watch 55th Anniversary Sha Tin Trophy (Group 2, 1600m) at Sha Tin Racecourse today.
    John Moore-trained Design On Rome (No. 4), ridden by Karis Teetan, edges Blazing Speed (No. 2) to win the Oriental Watch 55th Anniversary Sha Tin Trophy (Group 2, 1600m) at Sha Tin Racecourse today.
  • Connections of Design On Rome celebrate their victory.
    Connections of Design On Rome celebrate their victory.

Moore, who also saddled the beaten race favourite, fourth-placed Joyful Trinity (122lb), admitted the result was a shock.

“I didn’t expect that,” he said. “They walked and then he made that big run, which he can sustain. Big surprise – I thought if he ran third or fourth I’d be very pleased leading into the Jockey Club Cup (2000m) next month. But Karis had given me a lot of favourable reports, so we curtailed the gallop on Saturday, so it was only Wednesday on his own and that was it – that freshened him right up.

“We hope he pulls up sound and we can get him there for the race next month and move on to the Hong Kong Cup in December.”

Teetan took his record on the Holy Roman Emperor gelding, a former Hong Kong Horse of the Year, to two wins from six rides stretched across four seasons.

 “All credit to the whole team at the yard because this horse was so well. My final gallop, I went up to Mr. Moore and said ‘this horse is ready to go, I’ve never felt him so good’.

“I know he’s getting ready for the bigger races and the Hong Kong Cup in December is the big one but he came today feeling good – he’s not 100 percent ready yet, but his wellbeing, the way he felt so good, that got him to the line today.”

The Tony Cruz-trained Blazing Speed ran home strongly to get within a neck and that multiple G1 victor, like the winner, will now point towards the G2 Jockey Club Cup on 20 November.

“I tell you, the way he trialled over the mile the other day, and the way he’s looked, I’ve been watching him and he’s looked a million dollars – I just thought he could run a cheeky race, even back at a mile,” jockey Neil Callan said of the seven-year-old.

“The other morning I saw him on the track and thought, he’s still got it. It’s amazing to come back to a mile and run as well as he did and amazing the way he can go from a mile to a mile and a half at this level. He’ll be there for the rest of the season, that’s for sure.”

Stablemate Beauty Only ran on strongly from deep, clocking a race fastest final 400m split of 21.83s to claim third, a further neck away, and jockey Douglas Whyte was pleased with the five-year-old Holy Roman Emperor gelding’s effort.

“Great run,” Whyte said. “The pace was quite slack and they turned it on mid-race but he hit the line really strongly.”

Moore said of Joyful Trinity, the 1.9 favourite: “He was shuffled back on the turn, but I don’t think it affected his finishing position – he still would have been fourth, probably just the margin that changed. It was a good effort.”

  • Group photo after the presentation ceremony of the Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy.
    Group photo after the presentation ceremony of the Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy.
  • Chairman of the Oriental Watch Holdings Limited Dr Yeung Ming Biu, accompanied by his wife, presents a prize of HK$2,000 and a delicate watch to the Stables representative responsible for Joyful Trinity (middle), the best turned out horse in the Oriental Watch 55th Anniversary Sha Tin Trophy.
    Chairman of the Oriental Watch Holdings Limited Dr Yeung Ming Biu, accompanied by his wife, presents a prize of HK$2,000 and a delicate watch to the Stables representative responsible for Joyful Trinity (middle), the best turned out horse in the Oriental Watch 55th Anniversary Sha Tin Trophy.

Designs On Rome’s victory followed that of Lucky Bubbles in the day’s other G2 feature. Francis Lui’s charge enhanced his claim to being Hong Kong’s top contender for December’s G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) with a smart win under ever-present Brett Prebble in the Premier Bowl (1200m).

Earlier on the card, Jing Jing Win had offered a tantalising taster ahead of the day’s G2 showcases. The exciting four-year-old was sent off a 1.6 chance to win race six, the Class 3 A. Lange & Sohne Excellent Handicap (1200m) at his second start, having demolished a field of Class 4 rivals on debut.

The Starcraft gelding, top lot at the Hong Kong International Sale back in March, quickened to the fore half-way down the home straight and stretched clear for a two and three quarter-length success under Zac Purton.

“In his first race there was not a lot of depth in that Class 4 field, so it was nice to see him do it again up in grade against a couple of nice, progressive horses in the race,” said trainer David Hall. “Love Shock’s (fourth) form reads pretty well and he’s a pretty impressive sort of horse. To go and do it the way he did it today against a little bit better quality, it franks the opinion that he’s going the right way.

“It’s all about taking it step by step with him and we’ll have to see the ratings as to where we go. We’ve got a few things to think about: whether we stretch him to 1400 – everyone will be looking for that sort of question – and whether we think he’s ready to do it straight away or whether we think he might need a little bit of a rest between runs. He puts everything into his race; he’s a very athletic, playful sort of a horse so a big workload is probably not what he’s after at present. The talent is obviously there for everyone to see today.”

Hong Kong racing resumes at Happy Valley on Wednesday, 26 October.

ORIENTAL WATCH 55TH ANNIVERSARY SHA TIN TROPHY - Race Result

ORIENTAL WATCH 55TH ANNIVERSARY SHA TIN TROPHY - Photo Album

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