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Beat The Clock Goes Back-to-Back in Centenary Sprint Cup

20 January 2020

Ready to Run graduate Beat The Clock defends his title in G1 Centenary Sprint Cup. Photo: HKJC
Ready to Run graduate Beat The Clock defends his title in G1 Centenary Sprint Cup. Photo: HKJC

$200,000 Ready to Run Sale graduate Beat The Clock (Hinchinbrook) successfully defended his title in Sunday’s HK$10 million Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m) at Sha Tin.

It was the fourth Group 1 victory for the John Size-trained star, who has been a massive contributor to the dominant form of Karaka graduates in Hong Kong’s biggest sprints.

Beat The Clock also won last month’s HK$20 million Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m), which has been won by Karaka graduates five times in the last six years.

Graduates of New Zealand Bloodstock Sales have won the Centenary Sprint Cup three years in a row, with D B Pin (NZ) (Darci Brahma) preceding Beat The Clock’s two wins with a victory in 2018.

Beat The Clock also won the HK$16 million Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) last April.

Sunday’s performance was right up with Beat The Clock’s very best, overcoming a slow start and emerging as a danger to the front-running Thanks Forever (Duporth) in the straight. That rival fought back strongly, but Beat The Clock is rarely defeated in a tight tussle to the finish, and he prevailed by a head.

“Good horses always know where the finish line is, and they know what they’re being asked for, which is to cross that finish line first,” jockey Joao Moreira said. “Once again he proved that he’s probably the best sprinter in Hong Kong.”

Beat The Clock has now had 24 starts for 10 wins, 14 placings and more than HK$52 million in stakes. That’s the equivalent of NZ$10 million, which is 50 times his purchase price.

“He seems to overcome the circumstances of a race, whatever they may be, to win. That’s something you can’t deal with, he just does it himself,” Size said.

“His last win (Hong Kong Sprint) was a high-rating win, so to repeat that is very difficult but that just means he’s got more there. He’s a worthy winner of four Group 1s and he deserves it.”

Vendor Prima Park
Purchaser Mr B Mitchell
Breeding Hinchinbrook – Flion Fenena
Sale Lot 260, 2015 Ready to Run Sale, $200,000
Bred by Miss J Henderson


Group 1 Glory for The Mitigator

The Mitigator victorious in the G1 Thorndon Mile. Photo: Race Images

The well-named The Mitigator (Master of Design) scored a tenacious victory in Saturday’s $200,000 Group 1 Harcourts Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham, well and truly recouping any losses from an unsuccessful trip through the sale ring.

The Mitigator was syndicated after being passed in at the 2016 Ready to Run Sale at Karaka.

He is now the winner of seven of his 32 starts and in excess of $340,000 in prize-money – more than three times his reserve at Karaka.

“Trevor Luke bought the horse and then wasn’t able to sell him, so he asked me to help put a syndicate together to try to mitigate his losses,” co-owner Tim Davis said. “That explains the name. I’ve never had a Group One winner before, it’s an amazing result.

Saturday’s Group 1 triumph was a relentless front-running performance, fighting off all challengers to prevail by a short head from Wyndspelle (NZ) (Iffraaj) and Yearn (NZ) (Savabeel).

The Mitigator is trained at Matamata by Peter McKay and delivered a first Group 1 win for his jockey son Shaun.

“I’m thrilled for Shaun,” Peter McKay said. “It was a very good ride today on a good horse. When he had a look over his shoulder, I thought he must have been pretty confident, but it’s a long way down that straight.

“He’s just such a consistent and honest horse. He tries so hard every time. We tried to ride him back in his last start, which was just a waste of time, and he had thumps in the Zabeel Classic (2000m). When he won at Ellerslie before that, he ran great time (1:33.18 for 1600m). We just decided to let him run his own race today.

“I’m thrilled for the owners, who are a great bunch. Racing needs more people like them, they just love the game. I think they’re here for this meeting every year.”

Vendor Kilmore Farm
Breeding Master of Design – Charming Ruby
Sale Lot 120, 2016 Ready to Run Sale, Psd (Res $100,000)
Bred by Salter Pastoral Pty



Soleseifei (NZ) Triumphs in Wellington Cup

Following in the footsteps of the legendary Kiwi, Soleseifei claims the G3 Wellington Cup. Photo: Race Images

Carrying the colours of a legendary Melbourne Cup winner from the 1980s, the $26,000 Select Sale purchase Soleseifei (NZ) (Shocking) scored a thrilling and fitting win in Saturday’s $250,000 Group 3 NZCIS Wellington Cup (3200m) at Trentham.

In 1983, the mighty Kiwi (NZ) (Blarney Kiss) won both the Wellington Cup and the Melbourne Cup. He was trained by Snow Lupton.

On Saturday, Lupton’s granddaughter Jaimee-Lee followed in those famous footsteps for a Wellington Cup victory of her own.

Soleseifei was ridden by Trudy Thornton and showed tremendous courage after being trapped three wide in the early part of the race. She made her bid for glory at the top of the home straight, striding to the lead.

She was challenged on both sides by The Good Fight (NZ) (High Chapparal) and Toms (NZ) (Towkay), who are also Karaka graduates. But Soleseifei would not be denied, clinging on to win by a half-head.

“She was entitled to get tired, I didn’t get a great run and she was stuck out,” Thornton said. “She was very brave.

“Turning for home she was travelling super, although it’s a long straight to lead in, but she’s tough.”

Soleseifei has now had 29 starts for five wins, 10 placings and $242,165 in stakes – almost 10 times her purchase price. She had previously placed in the Listed New Zealand St Leger (2600m), Metropolitan Trophy (2500m) and Marton Cup (2200m).

“It’s pretty thrilling after Snowy did it with Kiwi, and it’s just lovely for the mare to do it too,” Lupton said. “She never goes a bad race and she tries really hard.”

Rich Hill Stud will offer a Vadamos half-sister to Soleseifei at Karaka 2020. The filly will go through the ring in Book 2 as Lot 1100.

Vendor Rich Hill Stud
Purchaser Ridge Slagter Trust (
Breeding Shocking – Evaline
Sale Lot 1073, 2014 Select Sale, $26,000
Bred by Rich Hill Thoroughbreds