Glorious Days One of HK’s Best
Glorious Days One of HK’s Best
Karaka graduate Glorious Days produced a career best performance last night to beat a star-studded field in the first leg of Hong Kong’s Triple Crown – the HK$8 million HK-1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) – at Sha Tin.
Crowned Hong Kong’s most
improved horse for the 2011/12 season, Glorious Days
(Hussonet x San Century) was hyped as a budding star last
year and his four starts this season have confirmed that he
is one of the best horses racing in Hong Kong.
Glorious Days Stewards' Cup
Glorious Days is shaping up as one of Hong Kong’s
best horses. Photo courtesy of the HKJC.
Last night’s Stewards’ Cup saw the latest match race between Karaka graduates Glorious Days and Ambitious Dragon with both horses meeting in all four of their starts this season thus far. Such is their dominance that between them they have won all four of these races, with Glorious Days evening the score by taking his second win last night under jockey Douglas Whyte, with Ambitious Dragon finishing an uncharacteristic fourth.
The pair also met once last season in the Group 1 Champions Mile where Glorious Days finished second with Ambitious Dragon back in fourth.
“He always promised to deliver a performance like that and today the race was run at a good speed and he was able to take advantage of that tempo,” said Glorious Days’ trainer John Size.
“It was run so the overall time would be quick and it was, so it’s a very good performance from him. He’s improved through the winter and he’s probably reached his best today.”
Size has decided not to target the next leg of the Triple Crown – the HK-1 Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) – and will keep Glorious Days racing at his preferred distance of 1400-1600 metres with the HK-1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) at Sha Tin on 17 March an option for the horse.
“There’s a 1400 metre race and other mile races, so it’s mapped out for us in Hong Kong,” said Size. “I think the Yasuda Kinen’s (Japan in June) is an ideal race for him and he went to the race last year. He’s had the experience and he travelled beautifully so I think he’ll go back a different horse this year and he’ll probably perform a lot better.”
Glorious Days is raced by Tom Brown's Syndicate and last night’s HK-1 Stewards’ Cup victory was his second win for the season – the other coming in the Group 2 Jockey Club Mile. His career record now stands at seven wins from 13 starts for the equivalent of nearly NZ$3 million in prizemoney.
Bred by Richard Pietrykowski, Glorious Days had just one start in New Zealand for trainer Stephen McKee, winning his debut at Te Rapa, before relocating to Hong Kong. He was offered by Lyndhurst Farm at New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2009 Karaka Premier Sale and Ready to Run Sale, failing to meet his reserve both times.
Karaka graduates won five races on the ten race card with the John Size trained Sea Dragon (Thorn Park) opening Karaka’s account in the third race, winning his debut by two lengths in the Class 4 Billion Win Handicap (1000m). Sea Dragon was purchased by Willie Leung’s Magus Equine from Windsor Park Stud at the 2010 Karaka Select Sale for $150,000.
Smart Man (Stratum) also turned in a
winning debut for trainer John Moore winning the Class 3 The
Lok Sin Tong Cup (1200m) by a smart two lengths. The Dennis
Yip trained Why Not (General Nediym) made it back-to-back
wins in the fourth – the Class 4 Michael's Choice Handicap
(1600m) – while Alpha Grand (Rakti) won his first race in
Hong Kong for trainer David Hall.
Glorious Days vs. Ambitious Dragon
These two Karaka graduates have struck a staunch rivalry – meeting in all four of their starts this season – and have dominated Hong Kong’s 1400 – 1600 metre ranks since November.
The table below shows where
these two star horses have met this season. With neither
winning the Group 1 Champions Mile last season, the score
sits at two wins a piece after last night’s Stewards’
2012/13 Season Outcome
HK-2 Sha Tin Trophy Ambitious Dragon 1st - Glorious Days 2nd
Group 2 Jockey Club Mile Glorious Days 1st - Ambitious Dragon 2nd
Group 1 Hong Hong Mile Ambitious Dragon 1st - Glorious Days 2nd
HK-1 Stewards' Cup Glorious Days 1st - Ambitious Dragon 4th