Russian Emperor rules HK, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Russian Emperor rules HK

HONG KONG  •  Russian Emperor confirmed his status as the kingpin of Hong Kong’s staying division with a domineering last-to-first victory in yesterday’s HK$12 million (S$2.1 million) Group 1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup over 2,400m at Sha Tin.

Ridden by Blake Shinn, the Douglas Whyte-trained five-year-old Irish-bred savoured his second Group 1 success with a performance deserving of recognition as Hong Kong Champion Stayer (2021/22).

Last February, he blitzed Hong Kong’s superstar Golden Sixty and company in the Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2,000m).

Returning to Australia at the end of this season, Shinn achieved his third Group 1 crown this term and a running treble on the card.

Whyte also sealed his third top-level win this campaign. Stronger captured the Group 1 Centenary Sprint Cup (1,200m) for him in January.

“The big races in Hong Kong are so prestigious and well recognised around the world. So, to be competing is one thing, to be winning them is another,” said Shinn.

“We’re on the world stage now and to win such a prestigious race, I feel like I’m on top of the world right now.” 

Without blinkers for the first time this season, the Galileo gelding was dropped out to settle a clear last at the jump, like in the past. Nordic Sky charged forward to lead.

Shinn made his move in the home turn, peeling out to pop the question. His mount responded with a withering burst, hitting the front with 200m left. He beat Ka Ying Star by 13/4 lengths. Senor Toba closed in for third, a 1/2-length away.

“I must thank Douglas because, after his last run at 2,000m, he pulled quite hard and I thought going to 2,400m, we’re not going to win if he pulls,” said Shinn.

“So, I suggested considering taking the blinkers off. Douglas stewed over it, he thinks about it very carefully and he said it was the right call.” - HKJC