Sky Field Heads Karaka Quinella in Premier Cup
21 June 2021
Bought by his owners the Kwan family for $175,000 from Trelawney Stud’s draft at Karaka 2018, Sky Field has now had 14 starts for five wins, five placings and HK$10.5m in stakes – the equivalent of NZ$1.95m, which is 11 times his purchase price. This was his first stakes win, but he placed in the Group One Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) earlier this year.
Despite his impressive record, the four-year-old went into the Premier Cup in the shadow of his high-flying Casper Fownes-trained stablemate Sky Darci – the $160,000 Karaka 2018 purchase who triumphed in this year’s Hong Kong Derby (2000m) and has earned more than HK$21m in stakes. However, Sunday was all about a barnstorming finish by Sky Field.
The Fownes pair dropped back in the early stages of the race, sitting second-last and last among an 11-horse field through the first 300 metres. Blake Shinn soon began to move closer on Sky Field, sliding up into sixth and sitting well within striking distance as the field rounded the home turn.
Shinn sent Sky Field into top gear in the straight and he sprinted to the lead 200 metres from home, rapidly opening up a commanding advantage. Sky Darci made ground strongly down the outside, but Sky Field was too far in front. He scored by a length and a quarter from Sky Darci, stopping the clock at a quick 1:20.55.
“Caspar just emphasised to switch the horse off and use his best asset, which is his turn of foot, and the horse did everything right,” Shinn said.
“When I produced him, he picked them up effortlessly and ran right through the line. It’s great, because we’ve all believed in this horse’s ability, and he stood up and beat a quality field.
“His acceleration was electric. He feels like a genuine Group One horse, and he’s been placed in the sprint two runs ago at the highest level in Hong Kong. From the first time I got on him, I thought he was a Group One horse.
“Even though he didn’t win a Group One today, I’m sure next preparation he’s only going to flourish and become a really big force in the coming season.”
Fownes, meanwhile, was delighted with the performances of both Sky Field and the runner-up Sky Darci.
“I’ve told everyone how good Sky Field is, and it was wonderful to see Blake get the result with him,” the premiership-leading trainer said. “He settled beautifully for Blake last start, and again today, over an extra furlong (200m), he settled really well. The best is yet to come with him, so it’s wonderful.
“Sky Darci was great. He’s had a huge season, and it was a great effort to come back again at the end of the year. You know how hot it is, and we’ve kept them up all season.”
|Purchaser||Mr D Kwan (Hong Kong)|
|Breeding||Deep Field – Laravissante|
|Sale||Lot 328, Karaka 2018 Book 1, $175,000|
|Bred by||M Ryan|