Beat The Clock Snaps Frustrating Streak in Centenary Sprint Cup

5th at ST , HK$10mG1 Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m)Winner: Beat The Clock (Aus), g, 5 by Hinchinbrook (Aus)

Beat The Clock (rail) | HKJC photo


Though he had never finished outside the top three in his previous 17 career starts–no small feat in Hong Kong–Beat The Clock (Aus) (Hinchinbrook {Aus}) hadn't quite been able to solve the Group 1 question, with a pair of seconds and two thirds in his four tries at the level. But a booming victory in recent trial earned him the race-day endorsement of Joao Moreira and the duo capitalized on a perfect trip to narrowly defeat two-time G1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint hero Mr Stunning (Aus) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}) in Sunday's Centenary Sprint Cup at Sha Tin. Winner's Way (Aus) (Starcraft {NZ}) came from last to finish a very good third.

It appeared on paper that Mr Stunning could dictate terms in the 1200-metre test, but races aren't run on paper and any strategizing was out the window when Zac Purton decided to ride HK Sprint fourth Little Giant (NZ) (Swiss Ace {Aus}) for speed. When stablemate and defending champion D B Pin (NZ) (Darci Brahma {NZ}) rolled up to press the issue, that allowed Moreira to take advantage of the box seat underneath Mr Stunning. Off the fence at the 350m, Beat The Clock claimed Little Giant with ease as D B Pin retreated, then held off a late bid from a resurgent Mr Stunning to better his dead-heat second with the latter in this test 12 months ago. Beat The Clock was exiting a third to Mr Stunning when racing second-up in the Hong Kong Sprint Dec. 9.

It was a first Group 1 win for trainer John Size since Ivictory (Aus) (Mossman {Aus}) beat Mr Stunning in the Chairman's Sprint Prize last April.

“Beat The Clock has taken his time to break through to Group 1 level, but he always promised to do that, and today the race was suitable for him and he managed to salute,” Size told HKJC's Graham Cunningham.

Up next? A tantalizing rematch in the Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup over 1400m Feb. 17, a race in which Beat The Clock dropped a narrow decision to Beauty Generation last year.

Pedigree Notes:

Beat the Clock, an A$70,000 Inglis Melbourne Premiere Yearling turned NZ$200,000 NZB Ready-To-Run purchase by Bill Mitchell (see related story by Michael Cox in Monday's TDNAus/NZ), is a third top-level winner for his sire (by Fastnet Rock {Aus}), a 3/4-brother to Snitzel (Aus) formerly based at Yarraman Park, but who was tragically lost to a freak exercise accident last July. Beat the Clock's Group 3-placed dam, a full-sister to SP Lil Elsa (Aus), is represented by a 2-year-old colt from the first crop of Rubick (Aus), who fetched A$70,000 from Legends Bloodstock, McKeever Bloodstock and Ferguson Bloodstock at the 2018 Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale. Flion Fenena foaled a filly by Your Song (Aus) last Aug. 30 and was bred back to Smart Missile (Aus).

Sunday, Sha Tin, Hong Kong
CENTENARY SPRINT CUP-G1, HK$10,000,000 (£981,827/€1,119,413/A$1,773,859/US$1,275,016), Sha Tin, 1-20, 3yo/up, 1200mT, 1:08.42, gd.
1–BEAT THE CLOCK (AUS), 126, g, 5, by Hinchinbrook (Aus)
1st Dam: Flion Fenena (Aus) (GSP-Aus), by Lion Hunter (Aus)
2nd Dam: Fenena (NZ), by Crested Wave
3rd Dam: On the Wind (NZ), by Sea Anchor (Ire)
*1ST GROUP 1 WIN. (A$70,000 Ylg '15 INGMAR; NZ$200,000 2yo '15 NZBRTR). O-Merrick Chung Wai Lik; B-Miss J Henderson (NSW); T-John Size; J-Joao Moreira; HK$5,700,000. Lifetime Record: 18-7-6-5, HK$22,717,775. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Mr Stunning (Aus), 126, g, 6, Exceed and Excel (Aus)–With Fervour, by Dayjur. (A$110,000 Wlg '13 INGGSW; NZ$250,000 Ylg '14 NZBPRE). O-Maurice Koo Win Chong; B-Makybe Racing & Breeding (Vic); T-Frankie Lor; HK$2,200,000.
3–Winner's Way (Aus), 126, g, 6, Starcraft (NZ)–Sunday Service (Aus), by Sunday Silence. (A$50,000 Ylg '14 MGLJUN). O-Peter Young Wai Po & Dr Arthur Leung Shing Tat; B-Bruce Reid Racing (NSW); T-Tony Cruz; HK$1,000,000.
Margins: NK, 1 3/4, NO. Odds: 21-10, 11-10, 40-1.
Also Ran: Fifty Fifty (NZ), Little Giant (NZ), Styling City (Aus), D B Pin (NZ), Born In China (GB).
Click for the chart, PPs and sectional timing. VIDEO. Click for the free catalogue-style pedigree.

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