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.

Horses to Follow in Hong Kong

Arrowfield graduates notched up a valuable treble, including both Hong Kong Group 3 features, at Sha Tin on Thursday evening, but there’s plenty of Arrowfield-sired talent in Hong Kong too. Australian racing journalist Michael Cox, based since 2011 at the South China Morning Post where he writes a popular blog, Happy Lucky Dragon Win, selects six Arrowfield-sired runners to follow in Hong Kong this season: 

4YO THEWIZARDOFOZ (Redoute’s Choice-Princess Coup by Encosta de Lago)
Bred by Evergreen Rich Pty Ltd, raced by Martin Siu Kim Sun & trained by John Size

From the moment this horse stepped off the plane and into the stables of John Size he hasn’t put a hoof wrong. Bombproof is perhaps the best way to describe him, and his best is almost certainly yet to come. Nominal favourite for the Hong Kong Derby next March off the back of a perfect three-from-three record in his three-year-old season. Ticks all the boxes: excellent gate speed, relaxes beautifully in the run, has a lovely flowing action and an electric turn of foot – all attributes that will stand him in good stead when he is forced to step up in trip through the four-year-old series. Silent Witness reached demigod status in Hong Kong, and Thewizardofoz’s progression through the grades is as close as any horse of recent times has got to matching the great sprinter numbers-wise. Silent Witness rose 43 ratings points to 95 in his first three victories; Thewizardofoz has jumped 37 to sit on 89, all against open age competition.

4YO TIANHUANG (All American-Miss Victoria by Viscount)
Bought by George Moore Bloodstock, $290,000, from Arrowfield Stud, 2013 Inglis Easter Sale; trained by John Moore for Paul Kan Man Lok.

Tianhuang is the name of a valuable stone, used for sculptures, and found in the mountains of Fujian Province. Tianhuang, the horse, is a lovely looking type and he has been as solid as a rock so far: it took just two starts for him to break through with a convincing victory on the dirt. John Moore is adamant his sprinter isn’t a one-track wonder, though that is where he is likely to race when he next returns.

3YO GREEN CARD (All American-Cristallo by Testa Rossa)
Sold privately after two juvenile wins in Victoria for owner-breeders Bruce & Jill Mathieson & trainers Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison; trained by John Moore for
Brian Leung Hung Tak & Sophie Leung Lau Yau Fun.
Still in quarantine at Sha Tin, but John Moore is looking forward to getting hold of this three-year-old that notched two dominant four-length victories before buyers swooped. The last of those came at Caulfield, with the filly that finished third behind him, Jalan Jalan, franking Green Card’s form with a subsequent dominant win of her own and placing behind Petits Filous in the MRC Quezette S. LR. Green Card wasn’t stretched beyond 1100 metres, but former co-trainer Craig Widdison believed the gelding would handle further and that the mild-mannered sprinter has the right temperament to thrive in Hong Kong. He may still be subject to a name change – his brand number is V126, which is searchable on the HKJC website.

4YO SUN JEWELLERY (Snitzel-Tan Tat Star by Umatilla)
Bred & raced by Tung Moon Fai and trained by John Size; raced as Tan Tat Star in Victoria where he won twice as an early 3YO from the Peter Moody stable.

Last season’s John Size-trained Griffin of the Year Thewizardofoz might be hogging the headlines, but his stablemate Sun Jewellery will resume off a higher rating and will offer plenty of competition in the four-year-old category. The former Peter Moody-trained galloper won three-from-three after arriving in Class Three and has already hit triple figures. Like his barn mate, looks like he will have no trouble getting over a mile or further and is in the right hands with his ultra-patient trainer.

5YO HARBOUR PUNK (Not A Single Doubt-Marblue by Marscay)
Bred by Swell Investments; bought by Regal Farm, $50,000 from Arrowfield, 2011 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale; trained by Derek Cruz for the Fragrant Harbour Racing Syndicate.

Doesn’t have much room to move from a ratings perspective after two wins took him into Class Two last season and a handicapper’s assessment of 91 – but he absolutely flies around Happy Valley, where his opportunities now become more scarce. Lightly raced with just 12 lifetime starts, he  should return slightly stronger at five and could transfer his best form to the bigger track. He looks to have attracted the services of superstar jockey Joao Moreira, who rode him in a recent trial for trainer Derek Cruz.

3YO FORTUNE GALORE (Not A Single Doubt-Evening Pleasures by Dehere)
Bred & sold by Kooringal Stud; bought by John Foote, $30,000, 2014 Inglis Classic Sale; trained by Caspar Fownes for Lillian Lee Lai Man

Unraced three-year-old, previously named Wan Chai Warrior in tribute to Hong Kong’s colourful red light district. Purchased by renowned bloodstock agent David Price, he trialled twice impressively at Cranbourne and has been setting the track alight in the mornings for new trainer Caspar Fownes. He is sure to be competitive when he first lines up and certain to see plenty of Happy Valley, where the speed of Not A Single Doubt’s progeny is invaluable.