Pleasure Gains Up in January Cup

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Pleasure Gains (GB) (Cape Cross {Ire}), winner of five of his eight previous starts around the tricky configuration at Happy Valley Racecourse, took full advantage of that horse-for-the-course status to land the venue’s lone pattern event for the season. 

A longshot 10th in a Class 1 handicap going 1400 meters at Sha Tin Sept. 21, the bay gelding bounced back with a half-length success facing Class 2 rivals over this track and distance Oct. 19. The 6-year-old scoped dirty following a well-beaten ninth in a Nov. 30 Class 1 at Sha Tin and was exiting a 10th behind Designs on Rome (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}) in the G1 Longines Hong Kong Cup Dec. 14. 

Punched away from the stalls by Douglas Whyte, Pleasure Gains was taken hold of and dropped over into third as Sunny Ying (GB) (Haafhd {GB}) led from G1 Hong Kong Vase third Khaya (NZ) (Librettist). The pacesetter enjoyed a reasonable time of it on the engine, but Pleasure Gains pulled out and needed most of the stretch, but ground his way to the front in the dying strides for a first black-type success. Khaya stayed on for second from favored Harbour Master(Mizzen Mast), who raced midfield, but failed to reproduce the same finishing kick which saw him land back-to-back races at the Valley prior to this stakes debut. 

“The horse is as honest as the day is long and I don’t think he’s run a bad race in his life,” said Whyte. “I started him off, funnily enough. I was the first one to ride track work on him, but I got suspended after I rode him in his second race and didn’t get the ride on him again until tonight, so it’s been a long timecoming but it’s a nice reward in the end.” Click for the HKJC.com chart and HKJC.com PPs.VIDEO.

JANUARY CUP H., HK$2,750,000 (US$354,687), Happy Valley, 1-7, 3yo/up, 1800mT, 1:49.38, gd. 
1–#PLEASURE GAINS (GB), 122, g, 6, Cape Cross (Ire)–Viola Da Braccio (Ire), by Vettori (Ire). (46,000gns wnlg ‘09 TATDEC; €155,000 yrl ‘10 ARQAUG; $283,871 HRA ‘12 HKIS). O-Mr & Mrs Michael C C Kao & Vivian Kao; B-Brook Stud 
Bloodstock Ltd; T-Manfred Man; J-Douglas Whyte; HK$1,567,500. Lifetime Record: 19-8-1-1, HK$9,934,000. *1/2 to Sarinda (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), SW-Ger. 
2–Khaya (NZ), 120, g, 5, Librettist–Miss Cosimo (Aus), by Giant’s Causeway. (NZ$90,000 yrl ‘11 NZBPRE). O-Benefit Syndicate. HK$605,000. 
3–Harbour Master, 115, g, 5, Mizzen Mast–Geographic, by Empire Maker. O-Mr & Mrs Chow Kay Yui. HK$316,250. 
Margins: HD, NK, NO. Odds: 9-1, 8-1, 1-1. 
Also Ran: Wayfoong Express (Ire), Sunny Ying (GB), Helene Super Star, Same World (GB), Rainbow Chic (Ire), Endowing (Ire), Packing Whiz (Ire).

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