Beat The Clock Spoils Aethero’s Coming Out Party in the HK Sprint

5th at ST , HK$20mG1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint (1200m)Winner: Beat the Clock (Aus), g, 6 by Hinchinbrook (Aus)

Beat The Clock Horsephotos

by Alan Carasso

HONG KONG–Boom 3-year-old Aethero (Aus) (Sebring {Aus}) had been anointed Hong Kong’s next great champion in several circles and was sent off 1-2 favourite to step up to the plate in Sunday’s G1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint. But he had some race-hardened older sprinters to deal with, and at the end of the day, the John Size-trained Beat the Clock (Aus) (Hinchinbrook {Aus}) called on his experience and his consistency to defeat stablemate Hot King Prawn (Aus) (Denman {Aus}). Aethero finished a gallant third.

Committed to a speed try minutes after Thursday’s barrier draw, Aethero was kicked straight into the lead by Zac Purton from gate 10 and made his way across the face of the field and down onto the inner running rail with a minimum of effort within the first 250 metres. Two-time defending Sprint champ Mr Stunning (Aus) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}) and Hot King Prawn was in touch, while Beat the Clock–not the best away–settled in fifth spot, three back at the fence. With his feathery weight of 117 pounds as a Southern Hemisphere 3-year-old, Aethero set sail for home, but his more seasoned rivals were not going to gift him the victory and were sticking close by. But it was Beat the Clock, third in this race last year, who was steered out and around Mr Stunning to secure dead aim at the furlong marker and raced over the top for the victory. Hot King Prawn, last year’s beaten favorite and making just his second start since, kept on well for second money.

“It’s just his character I guess, his will to win and fighting spirit; all the good things that good horses have, he has all those attributes,” said Size, who saddled Mr Stunning in 2017. “He helps himself a lot with his training. He saves his energy for raceday. I think he’ll sleep for a week now. He used every ounce of energy in his body in today’s effort and it’s humbling to see a horse do that actually.”

Never outside the top three in his career to date, Beat the Clock turned the tables on Mr Stunning in the G1 Centenary Sprint Cup last January and closed the season with a half-length defeat of Rattan (NZ) (Savabeel {Aus}) in the G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize in April. He had one start under his belt this term, a third to Aethero when forced to give him 15 pound in the G2 Jockey Club Sprint Nov. 17.

Meanwhile, the connections of Aethero were not willing to dwell on the loss.

“He’s a 3-year-old, only got beaten a neck, so I’m very pleased with the run,” trainer John Moore said. “He didn’t win but was gallant in defeat. [Jockey] Zac [Purton] said that when he went for him at the 200m, he was expecting something there–that they could kick away a bit but it wasn’t there. He changed legs and that was the difference. He’s definitely still an exciting horse.”

Pedigree Notes:

Beat the Clock is one of four Group 1 winners for his sire, who died at Yarraman Park Stud following an exercise accident in July 2018. A half-brother to a 3-year-old colt by Rubick (Aus), Beat the Clock has a yearling half-sister by Your Song (Aus) and a filly foal by Smart Missile (Aus). Flion Fenena was most recently bred to Enrcryption (Aus) (Lonhro {Aus}–Guelph {Aus}) on a Nov. 1 cover.

Sunday, Sha Tin, Hong Kong
LONGINES HONG KONG SPRINT-G1, HK$20,000,000 (£1,948,169/€2,305,125/A$3,735,990/US$2,554,706), Sha Tin, 12-8, 3yo/up, 1200mT, 1:08.12, gd.
1–BEAT THE CLOCK (AUS), 126, g, 6, by Hinchinbrook (Aus)
1st Dam: Flion Fenena (Aus), by Lion Hunter (Aus)
2nd Dam: Fenena (NZ), by Crested Wave
3rd Dam: On the Wind (NZ), by Sea Anchor (Ire)
(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$11,400,000. Lifetime Record: 23-9-8-6, HK$46,861,525. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Hot King Prawn (Aus), 126, g, 5, Denman (Aus)–De Chorus (Aus), by Unbridled’s Song. (A$90,000 Ylg ’16 INGFEB). O-Lau Sak Hong; B-Torryburn Stud (NSW); T-John Size; J-Karis Teetan; HK$4,400,000.
3–Aethero (Aus), 117, g, 3, Sebring (Aus)–Pinocchio (Aus), by Encosta de Lago (Aus). (A$575,000 Ylg ’18 INGEAS). O-Andrea Tien & Arthur Cheng; B-Wallings Bloodstock Pty Ltd (NSW); T-John Moore; J-Zac Purton; HK$2,000,000.
Margins: NK, NK, HD. Odds: 11-2, 21-5, 1-2.
Also Ran: Mr Stunning (Aus), Full of Beauty (Aus), Wishful Thinker (Aus), D B Pin (NZ), Danon Smash (Jpn), Seasons Bloom (Aus), Rattan (NZ), Ivictory (Aus), Regency Legend (NZ). Scratched: Little Giant (NZ), In Her Time (Aus). Click for the HKJC chart, PPs and sectional timing. VIDEO. Click for the free catalogue-style pedigree.

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