Rapper Dragon crosses the line in front for the Hong Kong Classic Cup
PICTURE: Hong Kong Jockey Club
Report: Hong Kong, Sunday
ROYAL ASCOT form came to the fore at Sha Tin on Sunday, as a pair of handicappers formerly trained in Britain landed big prizes.
Limitless was known as Defrocked when trained by Jamie Osborne, and the four-year-old, who won the Britannia Stakes last year, captured a 7f handicap by two lengths.
A familiar face was aboard, with Silvestre de Sousa riding for trainer Peter Ho, and Limitless will now be aimed at the 1m2f BMW Hong Kong Derby next month.
Ho enthused: “As long as he is selected, he will run in the Derby. I have no doubts about his quality, 100 per cent he is good enough.
“I told Silvestre, ‘don’t put him in the race too early, because if you put him in too early, he will be finished.’ That’s why he jumped quick but then pulled him back, and you can see it worked well – look at how he finished! He’s finished like a rocket, he’s just different class.”
In the Britannia, Limitless defeated Booming Delight, who finished sixth for William Haggas. Now with John Moore, he too was on target on Sunday when winning a 1m2f handicap narrowly.
Moore confirmed the Derby on March 19 is the next target, and said: “It was a solid effort. The horse looks like he needs a mile and a half, but I’m pleased with that heading towards the Derby.”
Also on Sunday
The big race on Sha Tin’s card was the Hong Kong Classic Cup, won by odds-on favourite Rapper Dragon (John Moore/Joao Moreira).
Like Limitless and Booming Delight the winner is heading to the Hong Kong Derby, and has now claimed the first two legs of the Four-Year-Old Classic series having won the Classic Mile last month.
Rapper Dragon held off the customary late thrust of Pakistan Star to score by a length and a half.
Moore said: “We’re going into the Derby full of confidence and now we just hope the owner can pull a good draw in the Derby and I think he’d be repeating.
“He’s definitely the horse to beat. He’s going to be joining the elite brigade in Hong Kong.”
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