Exultant, one of the greatest champions in the history of Hong Kong racing, will farewell fans at a retirement ceremony this Saturday (26 June) in the Parade Ring at Sha Tin.
Enthroned as last season’s Horse of the Year, the Irish-bred gelding was twice crowned Champion Stayer and Champion Middle-Distance Horse, both times in successive seasons. Exultant ends his career with a record of 11 wins from 32 starts, never worse than fifth-place in any race with prize-money earnings of HK$83,491,900 – making him the second highest-ever earner in Hong Kong racing history.
Officially retired on 11 June, Exultant bows out of racing as one of the all-time greats of Hong Kong. Trained by Tony Cruz in each of his 11 wins (in Hong Kong) – the brilliant son of Teofilo steps away from racing having achieved five Group 1 triumphs, a sole Group 2 victory and four Group 3s.
“He’s one of the best horses I have ever trained, I’m sad to see him go, he brought us so much joy and happiness – he won the main races in Hong Kong and he was Horse of the Year,” Cruz said.
He never shirked a challenge, a superstar with incredible courage and resilience, Exultant’s determination and will was rewarded on the big stage time and time again.
His first win at the top-level saw him ward off an all-star cast to claim the 2018 G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m), producing one of the most exciting finishes in the race’s history when he and his most familiar ally, jockey Zac Purton, famously locked horns win Lys Gracieux.
“His win in the Hong Kong Vase illustrated the type of a horse that he was, that’s my favourite win, for sure, it’s very unusual, especially in a Group 1 to be headed like that and fight back,” Purton said.