Karis Teetan was full of praise for Mr Stunning who took his career earnings to HK$60,843,100.
“I just had so much horse underneath me – I was tracking a few horses who are decent enough to take me into the race and I was just waiting for a gap to open. This horse, his heart is bigger than him, so I knew he would let down as soon as he got that run,” Teetan said.
“I planned to make sure he got a good jump, he’s getting older this horse so he can miss the jump, I spoke to Frankie (Lor) and said we need to give him a warm up first and make sure he gets the break again,” he continued.
“Once he came out smartly, I just had to work him a little bit to get him into a handy position, I found myself three-deep and once I got in behind a few horses he dropped anchor and started travelling nicely.”
The in-form rider’s second Hong Kong G1 win capped a treble, having scored aboard True Legend for Lor and Lakeshore Eagle for trainer Chris So.
Big Time Baby looked set to deliver trainer Manfred Man his first G1 success and first major since Eagle Regiment landed the second of his Centenary Sprint Cups in 2012, until Mr Stunning’s late dart.
“It was a nice, consistent run, he’s just come back from Dubai a little too fresh and he’s going to improve out of this run,” jockey Matthew Chadwick said.
“The winner was just able to get out, I was hoping he’d get stuck in traffic because I thought I had the others covered. He was a bit nervous in the gates so he wasn’t as sharp out as usual – maybe the trip over to Dubai and back was something to do with that.”
The John Moore-trained Thanks Forever notched his third G1 placing this season with a strong run from deep.
“He had to make up ground, he was in front at the 100 (metres) and he just folded,” Moore said.
“I think if he’d drawn a gate and laid up a little closer he could have won. He had to make it up from the 400 (metres).”
The Moore-trained race-favourite Aethero, who broke cleanly to lead, faded to last and was found to have bled.
“It’s disappointing but we’ll make sure he’s alright and then I’ll sit down with the owner and we’ll have to discuss the best thing for him,” Moore said.
Later in the day, the handler’s Beauty Generation placed a short-head second to the Caspar Fownes-trained Southern Legend in the G1 FWD Champions Mile, while the G1 FWD QEII Cup went to the Tony Cruz-trained Exultant.
Hong Kong racing continues at Happy Valley this Wednesday (29 April).