Horse Racing
Exciting new stallions at Hong Kong International Sale

By Graham Cunningham
08/03/2019 12:30

Lot 12, a French-bred bay gelding by Frankel.
Lot 12, a French-bred bay gelding by Frankel.

Some of the world’s most exciting young stallions as well as established elite sires will be represented at the Hong Kong International Sale (March) on the evening of Friday, 15 March.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club is offering 30 geldings for the first of two 2019 sales (the second is in July) held at the Sha Tin Racecourse Parade Ring with 14 sourced at European Sales and 16 from Australia and New Zealand.

Those sourced in Europe were purchased at Arqana, Tattersalls and Goffs and had to pass the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s vet team before going into pre-training with Malcolm Bastard in Wiltshire, England.

The southern hemisphere recruits were purchased at Inglis, Magic Millions and New Zealand Premier Sales and have been prepared by Bruce Harvey in Cambridge, New Zealand.

Mark Richards, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Executive Manager, International Sale, has watched both sets of youngsters develop over the last two years and reports a slight change in emphasis for this year’s sale.

“We’ve tried to do a little bit more with the horses coming in this year, purely because we want to try and produce a more finished article,” he said.

“You can’t do that overnight – in fact, it takes months – but we’ve tried to do a little more gate work and take them a step further in their education without putting them under undue pressure.”

Lot 30, an Irish-bred bay gelding by Frankel, is closely related to G1 Hong Kong Vase fourth Chemical Charge.
Lot 30, an Irish-bred bay gelding by Frankel, is closely related to G1 Hong Kong Vase fourth Chemical Charge.

Frankel firsts

Frankel's flawless 14-race career included 10 Group 1 wins and he has made a flying start at stud thanks to European stars like Cracksman, joint top-rated with Winx in the 2018 LONGINES World's Best Racehorse rankings, and Yasuda Kinen winner Mozu Ascot.

Five-time winner Simply Brilliant has advertised Frankel's prowess in Hong Kong and Richards feels that Lots 12 and 30 will be very attractive as the first sons of their sire to be offered at the Hong Kong International Sale.

“Lot 12 already weighs in at over 1150lb and still looks like he needs time to fill his big frame,” Richards said. “He’s got the physique and speed in the pedigree, being from the family of top sprinter Namid.”

Lot 30 is closely related to G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase fourth Chemical Charge from an exceptional family and comes with a strong recommendation from the man who has helped prepare him.

“Malcolm believes this is a quality individual and I’m hoping he can follow in the footsteps of Simply Brilliant,” Richards said.

Kingman pair

Kingman carried the same Khalid Abdullah silks as Frankel and showed top-class form in 2014, winning four of Europe’s most prestigious G1 mile contests in a row before retiring to Banstead Manor Stud in England.

He has made a good start as a stallion, with a first crop that includes G2 Coventry Stakes winner Calyx and G3 Autumn Stakes winner Persian King, and Lots 8 and 16 will be his first Hong Kong International Sale representatives.

Richards said: “Kingman’s record on the track meant he suggested himself as a first season stallion and what his first crop achieved after we bought these two was very impressive.

“Lot 8 was a lovely specimen when we bought him at Arqana in 2017, good looking and beautifully balanced. We didn’t geld him until quite late and he’s still a bit cheeky, but he’s a good-quality individual from a family full of winners including the champion filly Chriselliam.

“Lot 16 was also from Arqana, though he was from the 2018 Breeze-Up Sale, and he breezed very nicely. He’s going to benefit from more time, but he certainly has something about him.”

Pierro gelding’s Derby connection

Lot 21 hails from the family of the top-class Starspangledbanner, Elvstroem and Haradasun and is by a young sire who has come to the fore in Hong Kong of late.

Pierro was an exceptional sprinter/miler in Australia, winning the Golden Slipper and the George Ryder Stakes. The Australian Derby winner Levendi rates highly among over a hundred winners he has sired and Furore, winner of the Hong Kong Classic Mile in January, will represent him in the BMW Hong Kong Derby on 17 March.

Richards said: “Pierro was an unknown quantity when we bought this gelding but he was beautifully balanced and has continued to go that way even though he now weighs 1150lb.
He has a great pedigree and we hope he will be an eye-catcher both in the ring and on the track.”

Proven sources back again

Lot 15, an Australian-bred bay gelding by Exceed And Excel.
Lot 15, an Australian-bred bay gelding by Exceed And Excel.

Exceed And Excel has been highly influential in Hong Kong, thanks mainly to crack sprinters Mr Stunning and Amber Sky, and Richards feels Lot 15 is “a beautiful horse who oozes quality.”

I Am Invincible is another Australian stallion with a strong record of producing fast Hong Kong horses, including Wishful Thinker, and Lot 29 is described as “a ready-made racehorse with lots of speed.”

Declaration of War and Olympic Glory are less familiar to Hong Kong buyers but Richards feels several lots with less fashionable pedigrees can show to good advantage when all 30 lots undergo a public breeze on the morning of Saturday, 9 March.

“Lot 27 by Declaration of War will turn heads just by his looks and action, while Lot 28 by the high-class British miler Olympic Glory always wants to go forward to lead the string and could prove a surprise packet,” he added.

“The buyers will tell us whether they feel there are real standout lots when it matters, but I believe we have strength in depth and I’m very excited about this bunch.”

The Hong Kong International Sale will start at 6:30pm in the Sha Tin Parade Ring on Friday 15 March and all 30 lots are scheduled to perform a public breeze on the morning of Saturday 9 March.