New Zealand-bred horses took out the two feature races at Sha Tin on Monday.
Mighty Giant scored an all-the-way victory in the Group 2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m) to land the HK$4.5 million contest under a daring front-running ride by jockey Neil Callan.
The Power gelding rolled to the front at the 1100m mark and from there the five-year-old was never headed on his way to a gritty half-length success.
“At the corner, I just took a little tug on him and I knew he was going to give me a kick. The kick was his winning move, he just got two lengths on them and maintained it from the 200m mark,” Callan said.
“The bit of rain we had this morning could have only helped him but he jumped a little bit better today, he’s had a little bit of trouble jumping very fast.”
Mighty Giant takes his record to seven wins from 15 starts but gets his first win at Pattern level after placing third to Waikuku in February’s Group 1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) last start.
Trainer Ricky Yiu indicated the Group 1 Champions Mile (1600m) on April 25 could be the chestnut’s next assignment.
“We’re entered for the Champions Mile, but this horse, he’s just a lovely horse to train, he never runs a bad race,” he said.
Mighty Giant won two trials for South Island trainer Ross Beckett before his sale to Hong Kong.
Later on the card Amazing Star, a son of Darci Brahma, posted an upset win in the Group 2 Sprint Cup (1200m) downing race favourite Wellington.
Easily held in five previous outings, finishing no closer than fourth, the six-year-old enjoyed a perfect trail behind the speed under Vagner Borges before striking the lead and then withstanding a searing late surge from Stronger.
“I still do not believe it,” trainer Jimmy Ting said.
“Maybe the pace was a bit fast and it was suitable for him and it was a comfortable race. We had a lot of luck.
“This is the biggest win for me. Hopefully, there’s some more,” said Ting, who was granted a full trainers’ licence in the 2018-19 season
Bought for $30,000 by Sam Lennox from the draft of Blandford Lodge at the 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale, Amazing Star won a two-year-old trial for the Waverley horseman, defeating subsequent black-type gallopers Scott Base and Divine Power.
Amazing Star has now had 22 starts for seven wins, three placings and HK$9.06m in stakes.