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Sun Jewellery aims to make history in Sunday��s BMW Hong Kong Derby


Sun Jewellery will attempt to do what no horse has done before when he takes his place in Sunday’s (20 March) HK$18 million HKG1 BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) at Sha Tin Racecourse.

For nine years, Floral Pegasus held the distinction of being the only horse to have won the first two legs of Hong Kong’s four-year-old triple-header, the HKG1 Hong Kong Classic Mile and HKG1 Hong Kong Classic Cup, but last month John Size’s star muscled in with a record-matching double. Floral Pegasus failed by a nose in the Derby, so this weekend Sun Jewellery has his chance to go one better and create his own niche in history.

“Every bit of history is important,” said Size. “If you can create something that’s unique it’s good for everyone. It would be a nice achievement for the horse and I hope he can do it.”

Sun Jewellery overcame stamina doubts to win the Classic Mile and the 1800m Classic Cup, each time utilising his sharp turn-of-foot to score by a narrow margin. On Sunday he will stretch to 2000m for the first time. A year ago Size saddled another doubtful stayer in the blue riband, the eventual winner, Luger. 

“They’re difficult to compare, we haven’t seen (a complete picture of) Luger’s career, he’s had so many interruptions, but Sun Jewellery is different in that he has had everything go his way. He’s had a perfect run into the race, which doesn’t make his job easier it’s just that the process looks better on paper.”

Size also has Classic Cup third Eastern Express, a rapid improver this season and a contender for whom stamina is no concern.

“We put him in the Classic Cup so he could qualify for the Derby - that was the surest way to do it - and he finished close to the winner. He did himself proud. He gets an opportunity to run against them in the Derby and we’ll find out if he’s good enough,” he said.

“Sun Jewellery is the highest-rated horse (110) and the highest-rated horses have a good record, but Eastern Express is probably the ideal 2000-metre horse, so he’s got that in his favour.”

The BMW Hong Kong Derby, the second richest Derby in the world, has a field of 14 that also features Classic Mile and Classic Cup runner-up Werther, trained by John Moore, as well as the Ricky Yiu-trained Blizzard, third in both those contests (dead-heat in Classic Cup).

Joao Moreira will ride the Tony Cruz-trained Giovanni Canaletto and the same stable is also represented by King Genki and Green Dispatch. The Moore team has three further contenders in Helene Paragon, Victory Magic and White Magic.

Richard Gibson will saddle last year’s G1 St James’s Palace Stakes (1600m) third Consort, while the Chris So-trained Hero Luck, the Benno Yung-trained Friends Of Ka Ying and the Dennis Yip-trained Lucky Girl complete the line-up.

Sun Jewellery lands the HKG1 Hong Kong Classic Cup with Ryan Moore on board.
Photo 1:
Sun Jewellery lands the HKG1 Hong Kong Classic Cup with Ryan Moore on board.


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