Win Bright produced a performance hallmarked with toughness to go with his considerable class to complete the Group 1 double of the LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m) and April’s FWD QEII Cup (2000m) for trainer Yoshihiro Hatakeyama and jockey Masami Matsuoka.
In doing so the steel-grey son of Stay Gold held off the late lunge of Ireland’s Magic Wand to assure the 2019 LONGINES Hong Kong International Races meeting will be remembered as a standout day for Japan’s horsemen, as Win Bright followed Glory Vase and Admire Mars into the Sha Tin winners’ enclosure.
To no great surprise Time Warp got to the first bend a step ahead of his brother Glorious Forever, with Magic Wand and Win Bright making up the second rank of two.
Karis Teetan committed Time Warp at the top of the straight but Matsuoka had angled three wide off the bend and wound Win Bright up for what proved to be an irresistible charge down the straight.
Rise High proved to be the best of those to come from off the pace and looked a threat inside the 200m pole but it was Magic Wand that threw down the final challenge after Ryan Moore had been forced to weave in and around horses, only finding clear sailing late on.
It was a fine ride from Matsuoka, who has been shown great loyalty by owners Win Co Ltd at a time when the fashion has been to go after visiting superstars.