Win Bright conquered Sha Tin this afternoon (Sunday, 28 April), powering home in the HK$24 million FWD QEII Cup and lowering the 2000-metre track record.
The grey became the first horse to dip below 1m 59.00s, stopping the clock at 1m 58.81s as he earned a first top level win. Yoshihiro Hatakeyama’s five-year-old became the latest Japanese raider to make the QEII Cup honour roll, following Eishin Preston (2002 & 2003), Rulership (2012) and Neorealism (2017).
The first eight horses dipped below two minutes, just 14 months after Time Warp – 11th today after attempting to make all – became the first to break that mark.
“On Wednesday morning Win Bright galloped and clocked a fast time, so it was not unexpected that he could run a fast time today,” jockey Masami Matsuoka said of the 47/1 outsider.
The rider had not won a G1 since Meiner Kitz landed the Tenno Sho (Spring) all of 10 years ago. But he looked the part of a top-flight regular on his first ride at Sha Tin, cruising coolly along the rail in mid-pack, switching out in the straight and pushing his mount to victory with the vigour of a man ready to end that decade-long drought.
“This is the very best day!” he said. “He didn’t have good gate speed this time but we found a good spot and the horse travelled nicely and that helped him run very well to the finish.”