SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Hong Kong horses swooped to capture the biggest prizes on the Singapore racing calendar on Sunday, Military Attack romping to an easy win in the S$3 million (£1.6 million) SIA Cup and Lucky Nine landing the S$1 million KrisFlyer Sprint.
Military Attack made it four wins on the trot after blowing away a top quality field in the main race at Kranji, jockey Zac Purton needing only to flash the whip to unleash his mount to a three length win.
Winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, Premier Plate and Hong Kong Gold Cup coming into the race, Military Attack looked a class apart from a top quality field that included German prospect Pastorius, British mount Red Cadeaux and Godolphin’s Hunter’s Light.
Jockey Zac Purton said Military Attack had gone from strength to strength this year.
“To do what he has done in this class of field, it’s scary how much he’s improved over the last three or four months,” he said in a televised interview.
Another Hong Kong ride Dan Excel finished second while Mawingo was third. Pastorius, winner of the Group 1 Prix Ganay in his last start, struggled with an outside barrier draw and faded badly.
In the KrisFlyer Sprint, Lucky Nine upstaged highly touted Australian sprinter Bel Sprinter, scorching home to win by three lengths to kick start the celebrations among the vocal Hong Kong support.
“It’s an awesome win, this horse means a lot to me, I have a real soft spot for him,” said a thrilled Brett Prebble, who piloted Lucky Nine home. “This is what racing is all about, the Group Ones, it’s the pinnacle.”
Bel Sprinter, who finished third to Australian wonder horse Black Caviar on his last start, got away poorly from the outside and struggled for position when Lucky Nine struck for home.
Backed heavily by local punters, local entry Super Easy went off as favourite and came home third.
($1 = 1.2510 Singapore dollars)
Editing by Justin Palmer