The home team was one down, with Mr Stunning’s late enforced absence, but it mattered not as the ever competitive Beat The Clock led home a Hong Kong one-two-three in today’s (28 April) HK$16 million G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) at Sha Tin.
The John Size-trained sprinter, third last year and remarkably never outside the first three in 21 career starts, beat fellow locals Rattan and Little Giant in a Hong Kong trifecta which relegated the world’s highest-rated sprinter, Australian visitor Santa Ana Lane, into fourth place.
It was a first Chairman’s Sprint Prize win for jockey Joao Moreira (who had been placed the two previous years) and a second straight for Size who not only won last year’s edition with Ivictory but saddled the first three home as Mr Stunning, whom he then trained, split the winner and Beat The Clock.
The race unfolded perfectly for the Merrick Chung Wai-lik-owned Beat The Clock, whose task was aided by Mr Stunning’s withdrawal on veterinary advice and Santa Ana Lane’s inability to stay in touch with the leaders in the early stages.
“I was extremely happy,” Moreira said, “I would say the race actually went perfect for him. Rattan wasn’t giving up, he was dashing home and made it very hard but fortunately we have a very brave horse. He tries his best and once again he’s done it.”