Real Impact's three-quarter brother stars in Hong Kong

Real Impact’s three-quarter brother Neorealism claimed another major international trophy for Japan with a stunning victory in Sunday evening’s ~$3.4 million HKJC Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2000m G1 at Sha Tin.

The race didn’t begin promisingly for Neorealism who had been expected to lead, but he adapted quickly to his champion jockey Joao Moreira’s alterantive strategy.

Moreira said, “The pace slowed so much on the back straight so I had to pop out and get going. He got going but he wasn’t at his top speed, so I was always confident that once we turned for home he was going to finish off strongly, which he did.”

Moreira’s initiative sent Neorealism to the lead after 1100 metres and the 6YO entire unleashed a 44.8 final 800 metres to hold out Pakistan Star and last season’s QEII Cup winner & Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther.

Watch Neorealism win the HKJC Queen Elizabeth II Cup G1.

The QEII Cup is Neorealism’s first Group 1 victory, but he has won twice at Group 2 level in Japan and was third in last year’s Kyoto Mile Championship G1, won by Mikki Isle who joins Real Impact and Maurice to make a trio of Japanese stars on Arrowfield’s 2017 stallion roster.

Bred by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Racing, Neorealism (by Neo Universe) and dual Group 1 winner Real Impact (by Deep Impact) are both by sons of Sunday Silence out of Tokio Reality, whose record also includes multiple stakeswinner I’ll Love Again (by El Condor Pasa).

Neorealism, the second Japanese-bred winner of the QEII Cup after Rulership in 2012, has now earned almost $5 million for owner U. Carrot Farm and trainer Noriyuki Hori.

Real Impact, winner of the ATC George Ryder S. G1 and Tokyo Yasuda Kinen G1, covered 134 mares at Arrowfield in 2016 and is again available to Australasian breeders this year at a fee of $19,250 inc. GST.

Smart Hong Kong debut by Arrowfield graduate

On paper, Race 2 at Sha Tin on Sunday evening was a modest (at least in Hong Kong terms, with prizemoney of $A140,000) Class 4 handicap over 1200 metres.

It attracted special attention because of the debut of this year’s Hong Kong International Sale-topper, the Starcraft-Top Cuban colt bought for $360,000 from Arrowfield’s 2014 Inglis Easter draft by the Hong Jockey Club.

He was then purchased by Liu Yu Wen for $HK8.5 million (~$A1.4 million) at the Hong Kong Sale last March and sent to trainer David Hall. The now 4YO gelding’s excellent lead-up work and two barrier trials ensured considerable interest in his first raceday appearance.

Jing Jing Win could hardly have made it look easier. He jumped out smartly and took up the running, but jockey Zac Purton was happy to let Gainfuljet cross over into the lead, allowing Jing Jing Win to settle comfortably behind him.

Purton slipped the favourite off the fence before the turn, putting him in the perfect position to attack and attack he did, just before the 300-metre mark, powering away to win by 4 lengths in 1:09.51. Three-time Hong Kong winner Winning Boy was second and Gainfuljet was third.

Watch Jing Jing Win score on debut at Sha Tin.

While acknowledging Jing Jing Win’s evident ability, David Hall did not overplay the performance. “He’s got a bit of talent, he’s done the job nicely first time and now he’s got to build on it.”

For Paul Favretto, who bred Jing Jing Win with Paul Rowe, there is much to look forward to.

He said, “We’re excited to own a mare that can produce such athletic and talented sons and for all involved: Jing Jing Win’s owner, trainer and Arrowfield. 

“We’re looking forward to seeing what he can achieve in Hong Kong, the debut of his Redoute’s Choice half-brother for Shadwell, how her Snitzel colt develops ahead of next year’s sales and her next foal by Redoute’s Choice.”

Messrs Favretto & Rowe are familiar with major Hong Kong success: they’re also co-breeders of Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup G1 winner Contentment (Hussonet-Jemison).

Top Cuban (by Anabaa) has already left Group 3 winner Havana to Starcraft and her $1.5 million Inglis Easter colt by Redoute’s Choice, named Eltizaam, will race for Sheikh Hamdan from the Hayes & Dabernig stable.

Sun Jewellery named Hong Kong's Champion Miler

A season of top-class performances has earned Snitzel’s 4YO son Sun Jewellery the Hong Kong Champion Miler Award for 2015/16.

The award was presented to Sun Jewellery’s owner-breeder Tung Moon Fai at the Hong Kong Champion Awards ceremony on Friday evening.

Sun Jewellery (ex Tan Tat Star by Umatilla) was initially trained by Peter Moody and sent to Hong Kong after two Victorian country wins as an early 3YO.

In the hands of champion trainer John Size, he immediately stamped himself one of Hong Kong’s most exciting prospects with a sequence of late-season wins at 1200 and 1400 metres.

Sun Jewellery made his 4YO debut last November and quickly progressed to domestic Group 1 success in January’s Hong Kong Classic Mile beating subsequent Derby winner and Horse of the Year Werther and Arrowfield graduate Blizzard.

A month later his competitive grit and finishing speed prevailed against the same pair in the second leg of the 4YO Series, the Hong Kong Classic Cup HK-1 over 1800 metres. That proved to be right at the end of his distance range, and he was unplaced in the Derby.

Freshened up to return in June, Sun Jewellery concluded his season with a slashing win in the 1400-metre Premier Cup HK-3, where he got the better of Dashing Fellow just before the post.

Sun Jewellery’s four wins from six starts during 2015/16 boosted his career earnings by $2.7 million. His proven talent, natural improvement and the shrewd management of his master trainer make him a strong prospect for December’s Hong Kong Mile G1.

Sun Jewellery is one of five Arrowfield-connected horses that end the Hong Kong season with a rating of 100 or better:
126 – NOT LISTENIN’TOME (bred by Michael Pitt & Mark Read; sold by Arrowfield)
125 – CONTENTMENT (by Hussonet; bred by Paul Favretto, Tony Hodgson, Paul Rowe, David & Peter Sinn; sold by Arrowfield)
116 – SUN JEWELLERY (by Snitzel)
111 – THEWIZARDOFOZ (by Redoute’s Choice)
105 – BLIZZARD (by Starcraft; bred by GSA Bloodstock & sold by Arrowfield).

Another Australian-bred trained by John Size, Mr Stunning, won the Champion Griffin award.

Arrowfield graduates top Hong Kong Sale

The only two Arrowfield graduates in Friday evening’s Hong Kong International Sale have topped the results of the auction, which grossed $HK100.5 million, 5.9% up on last year’s figure, for 24 lots. 

The top price of $HK8.5 million ($1,455,479) was paid by businessman Liu Yu Wen for the athletic 3YO Starcraft gelding out of Top Cuban, bred by Paul Favretto & Paul Rowe and sold by Arrowfield for $360,000 at the 2014 Inglis Easter Sale. 

This is the all-time highest price for any progeny of Starcraft, and the second-highest price ever achieved at the Hong Kong Sale.

A full brother to Group 3 winner Havana, the gelding’s appeal has been enhanced by the recent outstanding performances of another Arrowfield-sold son of Starcraft. That’s Blizzard, unplaced in Sunday evening’s Hong Kong Derby HK-1,  but otherwise a top-three finisher in 11 of his 15 starts for earnings of $HK7.7 million.

Top Cuban has an impressive Redoute’s Choice colt catalogued as Lot 113 in Arrowfield’s draft for this year’s Inglis Easter Sale.

Ho Ka Kui Boniface paid the Sale’s second-highest price of $HK7 million ($1,198,630) for the 2YO colt by Manhattan Rain from La Bamba.

A half-brother to Hong Kong star Inspiration & Australian Guineas G1 winner Wandjina, he was a $700,000 purchase from Arrowfield’s offering at the 2015 Inglis Easter Sale.  La Bamba’s yearling filly by Snitzel has been retained by the Stud.

Arrowfield will offer another superbly bred Manhattan Rain colt as Lot 233 at next month’s Easter Sale. He’s out of  Charming Estelle, full sister to Australian Horse of the Year Lankan Rupee.