Super Wealthy storms into HK Sprint contention , Latest Racing News - The New Paper
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Super Wealthy storms into HK Sprint contention

HONG KONG – David Hayes will plot a path towards the Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint (1,200m) on Dec 11, after Super Wealthy created history at Sha Tin on Saturday.

His charge became the first horse to win the Group 3 National Day Cup Handicap (1,000m) twice – and in successive years.

Carrying 130lb (59kg), Super Wealthy provided Zac Purton with his first victory in the HK$3.9 million (S$712,000) feature. 

It was Hayes’ third. He also won with Prime Witness in 2003.

Tracking the speed set by Harmony And Rich, Super Wealthy took the lead in the final 100m.

He clocked 56.05 seconds to beat Cordyceps Six (123lb) by a neck. Sky Field (135lb) was a further length away in third.

Elated with the performance of the Epaulette seven-year-old, Hayes immediately outlined plans to target the Group 2 BOCHK Private Banking Jockey Club Sprint (1,200m) on Nov 20 as a defining dress rehearsal for the Longines Hong Kong Sprint over the same distance.

“He’s fully qualified for the international races. Last year, we missed them and, this year, we might have a little try,” said Hayes.

“We’ll run in the lead-up race three weeks before. He’s had two runs now and that will be his third run, and then, he’ll have his fourth run in the big one.

“A nice, gradual prep in gives him the best chance to be competitive.

“He’s an underrated sprinter, he’s top level, especially down the straight.

“It was only three weeks ago in the HKSAR Chief Executive’s Cup (Class 1, 1,200m) that he went down on his nose and picked himself up and ran fourth. 

“I would say he could win a top-level 1,200m, but I’d be more confident in a 1,000m race.”

Purton, who leads Vincent Ho by 13 wins to nine in the jockeys’ championship, produced a characteristically clinical ride on Super Wealthy.

“We drew the right side of the track and it was just a matter of getting him into the right rhythm,” said the five-time Hong Kong champion jockey.

“He began really well. The speed was nice early, but it wasn’t electric like it can be and I suspected that in a small field.

“I just harnessed his enthusiasm through the first part of the race and let it unfold; just tried to bring him into the race at the right time and I knew he would be strong to the line. 

“I had just had to wait for the gap and I had a horse good enough to take it.

“He was well prepared, he won this race last year and it’s not easy to go back-to-back.

“He’s gone up in the ratings, but David’s done a good job.”

Hayes and Purton joined forces in the following race when Oriental Smoke lugged 135lb to clinch the first section of the Class 3 Shanghai Handicap (1,200m).

The victory enhanced the horse’s reputation as one of the most talented and consistent performers.

“He’s been in the top three in Hong Kong in each of his nine starts and he’s done a wonderful job,” said Hayes.

“He’s a really nice horse.”

Reigning champion trainer Frankie Lor continued to muster form with a double.

He also produced the first three finishers in the Class 2 Beijing Handicap (1,600m) with Matthew Chadwick lifting All For St Paul’s to victory over stablemates Money Catcher and Celestial Power.

Apprentice jockey Angus Chung earlier notched his first Hong Kong victory on turf, after two previous successes on Sha Tin’s dirt, when he controlled the tempo aboard Oscar Glory to land the Class 4 Nanning Handicap (1,600m) for Lor. - HKJC

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