California Spangle

Favourites Oblige on FWD Champions Day

by Alan Carasso There were no surprises among the winners on Sunday's FWD Champions Day program at Sha Tin Racecourse, as the betting favourites in each of the afternoon's three Group 1 affairs each prevailed with a fair bit of authority. Fittingly, the winners will each take down year-end honours in their respective divisions, even as the award for Hong Kong Horse of the Year figures to remain an open and much-debated question for the next 2 1/2 months. Romantic Warrior Dusts Elders in QE II Cup... In one of...

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Derby Form Front and Centre on FWD Champions Day

While the ongoing complications caused by COVID-19 have resulted in no overseas competition, Sunday's FWD Champions Day meeting at Sha Tin will not lack for intrigue, as the region's top horses face a real challenge from the first two home in last month's BMW Hong Kong Derby. Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) is the afternoon's pin-up horse as he seeks an unprecedented 21st career victory when he goes in defence of his crown in the G1 FWD Champions Mile. The 6-year-old suffered the second and third losses of his career...

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Romantic Warrior Leads Irish-Bred 1-2 in Hong Kong Derby

by Alan Carasso In a finish reminiscent of the 2014 BMW Hong Kong Derby, in which the longer-winded Designs On Rome (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}) got the better the more distance-limited Able Friend (Aus) (Shamardal) in the dying strides, Romantic Warrior (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}) managed to reel in a very brave California Spangle (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) to win the HK$24-million domestic centrepiece Sunday afternoon at Sha Tin Racecourse. Money Catcher (NZ) (Ferlax {NZ}), thrice placed at group level in New Zealand, parlayed a perfect inside trip into a third-place...

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Diabolical Derby Draw for California Spangle

The connections of the speedy California Spangle (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) were hardly doing cartwheels after their Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) winner was assigned gate 10 in a full field of 14 for Sunday's HK$24-million BMW Hong Kong Derby at Sha Tin Racecourse. The winner of six of his eight local starts, California Spangle made all in the Feb. 27 Classic Cup, having endured a tough trip when second to Romantic Warrior (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}) in the Hong Kong Classic Mile back in January. But jockey Zac Purton admits that...

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California Spangle Passes Test in HK Classic Cup

by Alan Carasso The jury was very much out on California Spangle (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) going into Sunday's HK$12-million Hong Kong Classic Cup as to whether the speedy 4-year-old would be suited by an 1800-metre trip after just failing to see out the Hong Kong Classic Mile a month ago, albeit from a miserable draw. It took less than 107 seconds to deliver the verdict, as the joint-highest galloper in the field took command at once from a middle barrier and proved not for catching. Away without incident from gate...

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Romantic Warrior Shoots For Six Straight In Classic Cup

European-sourced Romantic Warrior (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}) has answered every question that has been asked of him in his five racetrack appearances to date and will look to keep the ball rolling as the horse to beat in Sunday's HK$12-million Hong Kong Classic Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse. A 300,000gns purchase by the Hong Kong Jockey Club at Tattersalls October in 2019 and later re-sold for HK$4.8 million at the unique Hong Kong International Sale, Romantic Warrior annexed his first three starts, each over six furlongs, and proved easily best when...

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