Karaka’s Sixth Hong Kong Sprint in Seven Years

13 December 2021

Sky Field is the sixth NZB graduate to win the HK$24m Group One Longines Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin in  the last seven years. 

Sky Field (Deep Field) has added another chapter to an astounding recent record for New Zealand Bloodstock graduates in the coveted HK$24m Group One Longines Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin. 

Sky Field’s sparkling victory on Sunday made him the sixth winner in the last seven years for sprinters sourced from Karaka, following on from Aerovelocity (NZ) (Pins) in 2014 and 2016, Mr Stunning (Exceed And Excel) in 2018 and 2019, and Beat The Clock (Hinchinbrook) in 2020.

Sky Field was secured for $175,000 from Trelawney Stud’s draft at Karaka 2018. He has now had 18 starts for six wins, seven placings and HK$25.5 million in stakes – the equivalent of NZ$4.8 million, which is more than 27 times his purchase price.

The Hong Kong Sprint was his first Group One victory and his second win at stakes level overall, following on from the Group Three Premier Cup (1400m) in June.

Ridden in Sunday’s sprint showpiece by Australian jockey Blake Shinn, Sky Field settled well back in the field through the early stages of the race. The five-year-old was set alight by Shinn after rounding the home turn and produced an irresistible finish down the straight.

He rapidly reeled in the front-running Courier Wonder (NZ) (Sacred Falls), took control inside the last 100 metres and kicked clear, scoring by three-quarters of a length from Japanese raider Resistencia (Daiwa Major).

“All credit to Caspar Fownes (trainer), he’s given me the opportunity to ride this lovely animal over the previous season and this season,” Shinn said.

“We’ve always had faith in him, but things haven’t always gone his way on the big stage. He performed to his best today, chasing down a top-line horse in Courier Wonder and the Japanese horse. He’s a great horse, and hopefully he can keep going forward.”

Sky Field became the third Hong Kong International Race winner for Hong Kong’s reigning champion trainer Fownes, who had previously won the Hong Kong Mile (1600m) with The Duke (Danehill) in 2006 and the Sprint with Lucky Nine (Dubawi) in 2011.

“I’ve said for a while that Sky Field’s pretty special, and I think he’s got his best racing ahead of him,” Fownes said. “We’ve got something really nice to work with, and it’s nice to see him do that today.”

Sky Field is raced by Kwan Shiu Man, Jessica Kwan Mun Hang and Jeffrey Kwan Chun Ming.

Courier Wonder held on to finish third, completing a one-three finish for New Zealand Bloodstock graduates. Bought for $150,000 by John Foote Bloodstock from Waikato Stud’s draft at Karaka 2019, the highly talented gelding has won five of his eight starts and HK$9.7 million in stakes – more than 12 times his purchase price.

Courier Wonder is one of four stakes-performing foals for the Savabeel mare Fabulist (NZ), who is also the dam of Group One placegetter Icebath (NZ) (Sacred Falls), Listed winner Nowyousee (NZ) (O’Reilly) and stakes-placed Just Fabulous (NZ) (O’Reilly).

Vendor Trelawney Stud 
Purchaser Mr D Kwan (Hong Kong)
Breeding Deep Field – Laravissante
Sale Lot 328, Karaka 2018 Book 1, $175,000
Bred by M Ryan