Glorious Forever clinches Hong Kong Cup

Glorious Forever ridden by star Brazilian jockey Silvestre de Sousa
Glorious Forever ridden by star Brazilian jockey Silvestre de Sousa

HONG KONG, China (AFP) - Glorious Forever sealed a clinical victory at the Hong Kong Cup on Sunday at the city's Longines International Races, one of the world's richest race meetings with a total purse of almost $12 million.

Star Brazilian jockey Silvestre de Sousa dominated the race from start to finish with the four-year-old gelding, and completed the 2,000-metre course in just over two minutes and one second.

French rider Christophe Lemaire finished second on Deirdre, while Time Warp, ridden by Australian jockey Zac Purton, finished third.

"I didn't want to overdo it in front but to make sure Time Warp didn't come around, I had to make sure we were going a true gallop," de Sousa said after the race.

"I won the battle for the first 300 metres and I was going so well at the 800 (metres), I thought to myself they would have to be very good to pick him up."

The Hong Kong Cup is the highlight of the four Group One events at the annual meet at Shatin Racecourse -- which also includes the Hong Kong Mile, the Hong Kong Sprint and the Hong Kong Vase.

It is also the city's richest race with a total prize money of HK$28 million ($3.6 million), up from last year's HK$25 million.

Sunday marked the first time Hong Kong-trained horses took the crown in all four of the Longines races, the Hong Kong Jockey Club said.

Star gelding Beauty Generation snapped up the the Mile event in a clean sweep for champion jockey Zac Purton. The six-year-old stormed far ahead of the pack to the finish line, recreating last year's front-running performance in its first Group One win.

"He has shown everyone how brutally good he can be," the winning jockey said.

"His best attribute is he has got a very high cruising speed, he's very comfortable rolling along at that speed and he can kick off it," Purton said of the horse.

Mauritian rider Karis Teetan emerged victorious in the 1,200-metre Hong Kong Sprint with six-year-old gelding Mr Stunning, earning his second consecutive win and defeating stablemate D B Pin who also finished second last year.

"It's incredible. I've never felt like this. It's the first time I've heard the crowd shouting like this. I just knew when I pressed the button he was going to go," Teetan said after the race.

Earlier in the day Purton rode four-year-old Exultant to victory in the 2,400-metre Hong Kong Vase, overtaking rival Joao Moreira in a final sprint.

"I thought at that point (Moreira) had the better of me, he had the momentum," said Purton.

"But my bloke just seemed to be loafing along a little bit and as Joao came to me he actually rolled in and bumped my horse -- that seemed to fire him back up and he found his second wind then," he added.


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