Special Stars (124lb) showed the confident tenacity of a Scottish terrier in winning the Class 3 St. Andrew’s Challenge Quaich Handicap (1000m) at Happy Valley tonight, Wednesday, 27 November.
“He’s a little horse but he tries his best, always, and it’s such a pleasure to ride him,” winning jockey Joao Moreira said as the bagpipes’ skirl filled the air 100 years on from the first running of a St. Andrew’s cup race at the track.
The John Size-trained four-year-old broke from gate one and tracked the pace-setting Jumbo Prize (119lb) along the rail, before shifting out to challenge that rival with a dogged persistence that took him to a neck victory.
“No doubt about it, the gate helped him,” Moreira said. “He’s run good races from good gates and I knew when we drew gate one that his chance was really there tonight. I was quite confident that he had a good chance.”
Special Stars gave Moreira his second win of the night, the rider having placed second in another four races.
“It’s a bit of a mix tonight but second is better than third!” the three-time Hong Kong champion said.