300th stakes win for Redoute's Choice

Hong Kong’s Champion Griffin of 2014/15 has taken a little while to fulfil his undoubted promise, but on Sunday evening Thewizardoz turned promise into dazzling reality.

His victory in the 1400-metre HKJC Premier Cup G3 was notable on three counts: his 3.5 length winning margin, his winning time of 1:20.86 and the 6 kg he conceded to runner-up and hot favourite Winner’s Way.

Watch Thewizardofoz win the HKJC Premier Cup G3.

The 5YO gelding brought up a couple of important milestones for two legends of global racing. It was the 92nd win this season, an all-time Hong Kong record, for champion trainer John Size, and the 300th stakes win on the astonishing record of champion sire Redoute’s Choice.

Bred by Tony Bott’s Evergreen Stud, Thewizardofoz is the second foal of four-time Group 1 winner Princess Coup, by Encosta de Lago whose daughters have produced eight stakeswinners from 50 foals by Redoute’s Choice, including Group 1 winners Peeping & Musir.

Redoute’s Choice now has 148 lifetime stakeswinners, with 17 of them successful in 21 stakes races this season – very close to his standard season performance since 2003/04.

A Group 1 weekend for Arrowfield graduates

Arrowfield has had many Group 1 weekends in its 32-year history, but few better than 6-7 May 2017 when four sale graduates by three different stallions won elite races in three countries.

Heading the quartet were Mustaaqeem & Rafeef who achieved a rare sibling Group 1 double in the SA Nursery and Computaform Sprint on Turffontein’s Champions Day. The sons of champion sire Redoute’s Choice & South African Horse of the Year National Colour were both purchased from the Inglis Easter Sale by Shadwell Stud’s master buyer Angus Gold and are trained in South Africa by Mike de Kock.

Rafeef and Mustaqeem, bred by Arrowfield in partnership with leading South African farm Klawervlei Stud, are the latest of Shadwell’s four Group 1-winning Inglis Easter graduates by Redoute’s Choice. Champion South African filly Majmu, also trained by de Kock, was a $300,000 buy from Arrowfield in 2013, and the David Hayes-trained Blue Diamond winner Nadeem was bought for $700,000 from Edinglassie’s 2005 draft.

With a new lifetime tally of 32 individual Group 1 winners, Redoute’s Choice has edged past the great US sire Giant’s Causeway (31 G1 winners) on the global Group 1 sires’ list. It’s a figure now bested only by Galileo (64 G1 winners) among active international sires.
 
Arrowfield’s third success on Saturday came in Adelaide when Blueblood Thoroughbreds’ $120,000 Magic Millions purchase Secret Agenda  overcame a wide draw to win the Robert Sangster S. G1. She is Not A Single Doubt’s sixth Group 1 winner and his third this season after Extreme Choice (MVRC A.J. Moir S. G1) and Scales of Justice (WATC Railway S. G1).

Secret Agenda was bred by the long-standing partnership of Arrowfield, John Leaver & Alan Jones, also successful at Group 1 level with Miss Finland and her daughter Stay With Me. Arrowfield has a record that includes all five Group 1 2YO races and six Australian Guineas winners.

Not A Single Doubt is on track to match or better his career-high 2015/16 performance, with 12 winners of 18 Group & Listed Races – just three black type wins short of his total last season.|

Three new Group 1 winners were enough to make the weekend memorable, but Contentment made it spectacular with a dramatic victory in the The Champions Mile G1 at Sha Tin on Sunday evening.

Contentment was described in post-race interviews as “quirky” by his jockey Brett Prebble, but it’s not a word that matches his quality record of 10 wins, six placings and more than $6 million from 29 starts, 21 of them in Hong Kong Group company.

His breeders Paul Favretto, Tony Hodgson, Paul Rowe and David & Peter Sinn are certainly proud of the 6YO son of Hussonet and their mare Jemison, who has yearling & weanling fillies by Animal Kingdom & Dundeel, and is again in foal to Dundeel.

A $65,000 purchase by John Foote from Arrowfield at the 2012, Contentment is trained by John Size for Benson Lo Tak Wing and, with a new figure of 126, is a top five performer in Hong Kong this season.

Rounding out the weekend’s graduate results were a couple of meritorious Group 1 placings, by Kenedna (Not A Single Doubt-Miss Dodwell), runner-up in the Australasian Oaks G1, and  Heavenly Blue (Snitzel-Simply Carina), third in the South African Derby G1, and a New Zealand Listed stakes win by 2YO Ardrossan (Redoute’s Choice-Miss Argyle).

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.

Sun Jewellery seals a sparkling Hong Kong season

Snitzel’s 4YO son Sun Jewellery sealed a super Hong Kong season for Arrowfield stallions & graduates when he took out the last of the Club’s feature races, the Premier Cup 1400m HK-3, on Sunday evening.

Already winner of the HK-1 Classic Mile & Classic Cup earlier this year,  Sun Jewellery scored with panache if not dominance, after jumping well to take up the inside running while Dashing Fellow pressed on from his wide gate towards the lead where was soon joined by Dundonnell.

Joao Moreira angled Sun Jewellery out at the 350-metre mark and he wound up to tackle Dashing Fellow just as Dundonnell began to fade. Dashing Fellow would not concede and Sun Jewellery had to produce all of his superior finishing speed to get the better of him by a short head, with Rewarding Hero 2.5 lengths away in third place.

Watch Sun Jewellery’s Hong Kong Premier Cup HK-3 win.

Dashing Fellow’s jockey Chad Schofield was in a good position to assess the quality of Sun Jewellery’s performance.

He said, “We had a very easy time up front, and with his light weight he sprinted hard. I thought the way he quickened we would be hard to beat, but that winner is very good. Even though we had another picnic out front, he still ran us down.”

Sun Jewellery’s trainer John Size agreed. “The pace suited the leader, but to get past him, he really had to sprint and work hard and sustain the run.

“He’s aimed at a race like the Hong Kong Mile in December, so we’ll ask him to do a little bit more in the new season and see if he shapes up for it.”

Not that Sun Jewellery (ex Tan Tat Star by Umatilla), with nine wins and $3.2 million from 13 starts, has to do any more to delight his owner-breeder Tung Moon Fai. Tan Tat Star has an unraced 3YO son Tan Tat Nova (by Not A Single Doubt), a weanling filly by Bel Esprit and is in foal to Manhattan Rain.

Sun Jewellery and Arrowfield graduates Contentment (Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup G1 & Sha Tin Trophy G2) & Not Listenin’tome (Bauhini Sprint Trophy G3) have won five Hong Kong feature races this season.

Contentment and Not Listenin’tome, both rated on 125, are among Hong Kong’s leading performers, while Sun Jewellery (110), Redoute’s Choice’s son Thewizardofoz (111) & Arrowfield-sold Blizzard (105) all look capable of improving their figures next season.

It’s been a busy month for Snitzel’s tribe with 22 wins around the world in 19 days, including the QTC Cup G2 victory by his newest stallion son Spill The Beans, bred & raced by Arrowfield and now standing at Aquis Farm in Queensland. 

Snitzel has also taken his season tally of Australian 2YO winners to 25 (26 including the South African-owned Heavenly Blue). With 42 days to go until the end of the 2015/16 season, he has a great chance to better the 32-year record of 26 Australian 2YO winners, set by Rory’s Jester in 1997/98.

Sun Jewellery shines in Hong Kong Classic Cup

Sun Jewellery’s class was all too evident at Sha Tin on Sunday evening when he prevailed in a thrilling finish to the Hong Kong Classic Cup 1800m HK-1, and set himself up for a tilt at history in the Hong Kong Derby.

He is Snitzel’s third stakeswinner this month, after 3YOs Spill The Beans (ATC Eskimo Prince S. G3) and Perignon (ATC Light Fingers S. G2) who are the latest additions to their sire’s lifetime record of 35 stakeswinners.

Sun Jewellery won last month’s Classic Mile HK-1, the first leg of the Hong Kong Four-Year-Old Series, but punters believed that Werther, runner-up in that race, would be better suited by an extra 200 metres, so let Sun Jewellery go out as second favourite. Every other runner, including Arrowfield graduate Blizzard (Starcraft-Stormy Choice), a game third in the Classic Mile, was allowed to start at double-figure odds.

Watch Sun Jewellery win the Hong Kong Classic Cup HK-1.

Sun Jewellery and Werther settled behind the pace in fourth and fifth positions, while Blizzard was forced wide from gate 10 and raced near the back of the field for about 600 metres, until Gerald Mosse sent him forward to slot into third behind Green Dispatch and Eastern Express.

Blizzard launched his challenge at the top of the straight, as Hugh Bowman peeled Werther out behind him, leaving Ryan Moore on Sun Jewellery to consider his options as the field opened up, before electing to switch to the inside. Eastern Express showed plenty of fight too and the four horses lined up for a battle worthy of the race.

However, as Werther wound up for a powerful late burst, it was clear that Sun Jewellery was going well enough to win which he did by a head from Werther, with Blizzard and Eastern Express a nose away in a dead-heat for third. 

The result took Sun Jewellery’s record to eight wins and $2.9 million from 11 starts in Australia and Hong Kong.

Ryan Moore said,  “Sun Jewellery’s a class horse and class usually tells over a distance. He’s probably just better than them, he’s just got a class edge and that allows horses to go further than you’d think they would.

“He’s got an awful lot of courage, and that as well as his attitude are the two things that stand out about him most. I did always feel that I was going to get up. Werther started moving early and I wanted to keep tabs on him – he got away from me a bit but my horse dug in very well.”

Sun Jewellery is only the second horse, after Floral Pegasus in 2007, to complete the Classic Mile/Cup double, and now gets his chance to become the first horse to win all three legs of the Four-Year-Old Series. The 2000 metres of the final leg, the Hong Kong Derby HK-1 on 20 March, takes him into unknown territory, but his trainer John Size has been there before.

Size prepared Choisir’s son Luger to win last year’s Derby, and he believes Sun Jewellery can match that performance.

He says, “Like most good horses he does a lot of things right and his temperament helps him a lot. He’s manageable in a race and he’s determined in a finish, so all those attributes you’d love to have in any horse.”

It’s also worth remembering that, although it’s hard to find stakes-winning form past 1600 metres in Sun Jewellery’s female family, Snitzel has already left Cox Plate winner Shamus Award, and Aliyana Tilde, placed in both the Australian Oaks and the Sydney Cup.

Sun Jewellery is raced by Tung Moon Fai who also bred him from Tan Tat Star (by Umatilla), a city-winning sister to the marvellous Umrum, two-time Group 1 winner and eight times Group 1-placed over eight seasons in the care of Leon Macdonald.

Tan Tat Star has been a fine producer, leaving Sun Jewellery, Group 3 winner Tan Tat De Lago, city winner Tan Tat Tess and two other winners, all her foals to race.

The Tung family has Sun Jewellery’s unraced 3YO three-quarter brother Tan Tat Nova (by Not A Single Doubt) in training with Peter Moody, who also prepared Sun Jewellery for his first four starts in Australia. The mare foaled a filly by Bel Esprit last Spring and is in foal to Manhattan Rain.  

Hong Kong Group 1 success for Snitzel son

Snitzel’s 4YO son Sun Jewellery made a spectacular stakes debut when he stormed to victory in the ~$A1.8 million Hong Kong Classic Mile HK-1 on Sunday evening.

He is the 33rd stakeswinner for Snitzel whose 51 Magic Millions yearlings averaged more than $300,000 earlier this month.

Sun Jewellery’s performance was all the more impressive because he drew gate 14, but he jumped smartly for Ryan Moore who kept driving him forward. Nevertheless, Sun Jewellery raced wide without cover until the 800-metre mark  before Moore could slot him into fifth position, one off the fence. The champion jockey then waited another 400 metres before targeting the lead which Sun Jewellery claimed just as Werther, Thewizardofoz (by Redoute’s Choice) and Arrowfield graduate Blizzard (by Starcraft) launched their challenges.

However, Sun Jewellery had enough in reserve to hold them all at bay, with Werther finishing a neck away in second, Blizzard third (he posted the fastest final 400m split of 23.12) and Thewizardofoz fifth.

Watch Sun Jewellery win the Hong Kong Classic Mile HK-1.

Ryan said of Sun Jewellery, “I think he’s a very good horse and I was lucky to be riding him today. He has a very good racing mind.

“He went through the race really comfortably – it’s obviously going to be another question mark, stepping up in trip, but he’s a horse that hasn’t done a lot wrong in his life. Who’s to say where he could end up?”

His immediate target will be the second race in the Hong Kong 4YO Series, the Hong Classic Cup HK-1 over 1800m on 21 February, and he is entered for the final leg, the 2000-metre Hong Kong Derby HK-1 on 20 March. 

Sun Jewellery’s trainer John Size said, “I’m not sure what the future holds for him but, previously, horses that have run in this race with a very high rating and have won have turned out to be Group horses.

“I would think he’s got a big future. He’s always promised to step up but this is a good test today, he’s come up against some nice horses and he’s beaten them fair and square.”

Sun Jewellery is raced by his breeder Tung Moon Fai whose Hong Kong-based horses all have “Jewellery” in their names.

The chestnut gelding raced as Tan Tat Sun from Peter Moody’s stable in Victoria where he won twice as a Spring 3YO before being exported to Hong Kong where has has won all but one of his six starts and almost $900,000.

Sun Jewellery’s dam Tan Tat Star (by Umatilla), also dam of Group 3 winner Tan Tat De Lago, is a sister to the grand campaigner Umrum, whose 11 stakes wins included consecutive Toorak Handicaps.

Umatilla was a half-brother to Shantha’s Choice, dam of Snitzel’s champion sire Redoute’s Choice. Redoute’s Choice & Umatilla appear as sire and damsire of another successful member of this family, Bob & Sandra Peters’ Group-placed stakeswinner Tranquility.

Mr Tung has Tan Tat Star’s unraced 3YO son, Tan Tat Nova (by Not A Single Doubt) with Peter Moody and a 2015 filly by Bel Esprit. The mare visited Manhattan Rain last Spring.

The sire of six Australian Group 1 winners, Snitzel is currently second on the 2YO Sires’ earnings list, with Not A SIngle Doubt chasing him in third position.

Four colts and a filly by Snitzel will be offered at the NZ Premier Sale which begins at Karaka, Auckland on Monday mornng.

Arrowfield graduate treble at Sha Tin & Kranji

October began with notable wins in Hong Kong & Singapore by Arrowfield & Inglis sale graduates, and it’s ended the same way, with successes by Stepitup, Contentment & Blizzard on Sunday evening. 

Stepitup has book-ended the month with the first two legs of the Singapore Triple Crown, adding the $500,000 Raffles Cup to his Kranji Mile win on 4 October.

Hope of a Raffles Cup victory seemed forlorn until the very end of the 1800-metre contest when Stepitup and jockey Michael Rodd found clear air and went after the leader Fastnet Dragon. They caught him in the final 20 metres, winning by a half-length with Quechua more than two lengths back in third place. 

Watch Stepitup win the Raffles Cup Sgp-1.

Stepitup’s trainer Laurie Laxon said, “He didn’t look like he could win. He sure was in a major spot of bother, he was all jammed up, but he just has this amazing mindset, he just has to get the win.

“He’s only a small horse and is the quietest in the stable, you wouldn’t notice him, but what a motor he has. He will now go for the Gold Cup and I guess he would get the top weight of 58 or 59kg now, but he will be a big chance.”

The son of Hussonet and Ain’t Seen Nothin’ was  has now won 15 races, ten of them at domestic Group level, and well over $S$2 million for his owner the Tivic Stable.

Bred by Arrowfield and John Leaver, Stepitup was purchased by Cliff Brown for $90,000 at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. Ain’t Seen Nothin’ has a 3YO colt by Starcraft, a yearling filly by All American and a filly foal by Dundeel.

At Sha Tin another son of Hussonet, 5YO Contentment, turned in a sub-1.34 time to win the 1600 metres HK$4 million Sha Tin Trophy HK-2, showing he’s right on target for December’s Hong Kong Mile G1. 

Watch Contentment’s Sha Tin Trophy HK-2 win.

A $65,000 John Foote purchase from the Arrowfield consignment at the 2012 Inglis Classic Sale, Contentment has now won eight of his 11 starts and the equivalent of $1.7 million for owner Benson Lo Tak Wing.

Contentment’s trainer John Size said, “He has always shown me that he was a very good horse, from the first day that he walked into the stable. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I thought he was a good horse before he raced. He always did everything correctly – he’s always presented like a good horse.”

Bred by Paul Favretto, Tony & Judy Hodgson, Paul Rowe and David & Peter Sinn, Contentment is from the Commands mare Jemison, also the dam of 3YO and yearling colts by Charge Forward, a 2YO filly by Gio Ponti and a 2015 filly by Animal Kingdom.

Hong Kong’s reigning Horse of the Year Able Friend scored a brilliant victory in the next race, the Premier Bowl HK-2, and a quinella by Blizzard and Thewizardofoz in the last race, a Class 2 event over 1400 metres, signed off a big night for Australian-breds. 

Thewizardofoz (by Redoute’s Choice) was impressive at his season debut and first try beyond 1200 metres, but Blizzard (by Starcraft) was sensational, carrying a kilogram more than his rival, sitting wide for much of the race and rocketing down the centre of the track to win in 1:21.96. He ran the last 400 metres in 22.26, faster than any other winner on the ten-race program. 

Watch Blizzard & Thewizardofoz quinella the Zenith Excellent H.

A son of the Redoute’s Choice mare Stormy Choice, Blizzard was bred by Jonathan Munz’s GSA Bloodstock and offered by Arrowfield at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale where his trainer Ricky Yiu bought him for $75,000.  He’s now won six of his 10 starts and returned HK$5.3 million (~$960,000) to his owner, the Infinitude Syndicate.

Hong Kong Group double for Arrowfield & Inglis

Not Listenin’tome and Contentment have more in common than being highly impressive Australian-bred Group winners at Sha Tin on Thursday evening. 

Both are also Arrowfield graduates of Inglis yearling sales.

The Hong Kong International Sprint G1 is the obvious target for Not Listenin’tome after proving way too strong for his rivals in the National Day Cup HK-3.

The 5YO gelding jumped smartly and initially settled in a group behind the early leader Amber Sky, but when jockey Neil Callan pushed the button 400 metres out, the race was all over as Not Listenin’tome instantly sprinted clear to win by two lengths from Super Jockey in 55.90.

Watch Not Listenin’tome’s National Day Cup HK-3 win.

It was the second Hong Kong stakes win for Not Listenin’tome, also successful in last season’s Sha Tin Vase HK-3 after an excellent 3YO year for the Hawkes stable in Australia where he won the MRC Zeditave S. G3 and was twice Group 1-placed, behind Zoustar and Appearance.  With five wins & 5 placings from 15 starts, his earnings now exceed $A1 million.

John Moore, who prepares Not Listenin’tome for Matthew Wong Leung Pak, could not have been happier with the gelding’s performance.

“I’m absolutely gobsmacked – he’s finally done what I wanted him to do. This should take him on his way to become Hong Kong’s top sprinter.”

Not Listenin’tome (Dylan Thomas-Flame Of Sydney by Encosta de Lago) was bred by Michael Pitt & Mark Read and bought by George Moore for $270,000 from the Arrowfield consignment at the 2012 Inglis Easter Sale. Flame Of Sydney, herself a Flemington stakeswinner, has an unraced filly named She’s Got Power and a 2YO filly, both by Redoute’s Choice, a yearling colt by Snitzel and is foaling again to Snitzel this Spring.

Just over an hour later it was the turn of Contentment, Hong Kong’s Most Improved Horse last season and a $65,000 John Foote purchase from Arrowfield Stud at the 2012 Inglis Classic Sale.

He lined up in the Celebration Cup 1400m HK-3 where he settled comfortably in fourth spot for Joao Moreira while Beauty Flame and Divine Calling rolled along in front. Set alight round the turn, Contentment picked up strongly to hit the lead 200 metres out and win by a half-length from Giant Treasure in 1:21.17.

Watch Contentment’s Celebration Cup HK-3 win.

Moreira said, “He is a much more mature horse than he was last season and he showed us what we were expecting.

“I don’t think he is at his best at the moment and he still won, so we are very excited about what he will bring to his next races. Wherever he goes he will be competitive – he has heart.”

It’s the chestnut gelding’s first stakes victory among seven wins in Hong Kong, and takes his career prizemoney for owner Benson Lo Tak Wing to more than $A1.3 million.

Bred by Paul Favretto, Tony & Judy Hodgson, Paul Rowe and David & Peter Sinn, Contentment is a new stakeswinner for champion sire Hussonet, from the Commands mare Jemison, a relative of champion 2YO colt Align. Jemison is also the dam of 3YO and yearling colts by Charge Forward, a 2YO filly by Gio Ponti and a recently foaled filly by Animal Kingdom.

Completing a tremendous night at Sha Tin for Inglis & Arrowfield was Blizzard (Starcraft-Stormy Choice by Redoute’s Choice) who sustained a big run to catch Go Baby Go close to the finish of the Class 2 Beijing Handicap over 1200 metres. 

Watch Blizzard’s win at Sha Tin.

Blizzard was bred by Jonathan Munz’s GSA Bloodstock and offered by Arrowfield at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale where his trainer Ricky Yiu bought him for $75,000.  Five wins from 9 starts have now returned almost $A680,000 to Blizzard’s owner, the Infinitude Syndicate.

Thewizardofoz & Contentment win Hong Kong awards

The classy John Size-trained & Arrowfield-connected pair Thewizardofoz and Contentment featured on the list of 2014/15 Hong Kong award winners announced at last week’s end-of-season ceremony.

Brilliant 3YO Thewizardofoz was named Hong Kong’s Champion Griffin of 2014/15 after Sunday’s season finale at Sha Tin.

The son of Redoute’s Choice and multiple Group 1 winner Princess Coup (by Encosta de Lago) burst on the scene with three dominant wins over 1200 metres in May and June for owner Martin Siu Kim Sun.

The gelding’s progress through the ratings to a figure of 89 allows a comparison with champion Silent Witness, rated 95 after his first three wins in 2002/03.  The two-time Horse of the Year won a Hong Kong Group 2 event at his fifth start – a path that Thewizardofoz may well follow in the new season, which opens on 3 September.

Watch Thewizardofoz’s third Hong Kong win on 21 June here.

Redoute’s Choice has had 16 winners in Hong Kong, the best of them being dual domestic Group 3 winner Packing Ok, also third to Ambitious Dragon & Glorious Days in the 2012 Hong Kong Mile G1. In addition, his Mike de Kock-trained son Musir was third in Xtension’s 2011 Champions Mile G1.

The Most Improved Horse was 4YO gelding Contentment (Hussonet-Jemison by Commands), a $65,000 John Foote purchase from Arrowfield Stud at the 2012 Inglis Classic Sale and raced by Benson Lo Tak Wing.

Bred by Paul Favretto, Tony & Judy Hodgson, Paul Rowe and David & Peter Sinn, Contentment improved his rating during the season by 49 points to 101 with five wins from nine starts. He franked the award with a really brave win in Sunday’s Sha Tin Mile Trophy, taking up an early lead and defying the challenges of Beauty Only and Fantastic Kaka to win by a neck in 1:33.62. Previous winners of the race include subsequent multiple Group 1 winners Dan Excel & Designs On Rome, named Champion Middle Distance Horse of 2014/15.

Watch Contentment’s Sha Tin Mile Trophy win here.

Jemison has a rising 3YO half-brother to Contentment, named Alabama Charge (by Charge Forward) in the Robbie Laing stable, a rising 2YO filly by Gio Ponti and a Charge Forward weanling colt. The mare, from the family of Champion 2YO Colt Align, is in foal to Animal Kingdom.

Australian-bred horses took out five awards for the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s 130th anniversary season, including the Horse of the Year trophy won by four-time Group 1 winner Able Friend.

Third win by Thewizardofoz in Hong Kong

Thewizardofoz continues to make magic in Hong Kong and maintained his unbeaten record with a third impressive win at Sha Tin on Sunday evening.

The 3YO son of Redoute’s Choice carried his 60.5 kg topweight with ease to score by 3.5 lengths from Healthy Joyful and Excel Oneself in 1:10.04 on the dead-rated track.

His jockey Joao Moreira missed the ride on Brazen Beau at Royal Ascot to ride at Sha Tin on Sunday, but the decision was justified by his three wins for John Size, John Moore & David Hall in races worth a total of $A2.6 million, more than twice the Diamond Jubilee Stakes prizemoney.

Thewizardofoz’s success took Size’s season tally of wins to 57, behind Moore (60 wins) and just ahead of Caspar Fownes (56 wins), in a tight contest for the 2014/15 Hong Kong Trainer’s Premiership.

Size, already a 7-time champion trainer in Hong Kong, says of Thewizardofoz, “He is a good horse, and he will be one of my better horses next season. He keeps on improving and at the time being, I will stick to 1200m for him.”

Thewizardofoz was bred by Tony Bott and the Siu family at Evergreen Stud, and is raced by Martin Siu Kim-sum who paid $3 million in 2009 for his dam, the top-class racemare Princess Coup (by Encosta de Lago), winner of four New Zealand Group 1 races from 1600 to 2400 metres.  The Redoute’s Choice/Encosta de Lago cross is so far responsible for five stakeswinners (Musir, Beneteau, Burnstone, Peeping & Essington) among 24 runners.

Princess Coup, also dam of Sydney winner Vanilla Princess, has a 2YO filly by Redoute’s Choice, a yearling colt and a weanling filly by Fastnet Rock and is in foal to Snitzel.