The inexorable rise of Douglas Whyte among Hong Kong’s training ranks encompassed yet another milestone at Sha Tin this afternoon (Sunday, 20 February) as jockey Blake Shinn and Russian Emperor led home a one-two finish for the handler in the HK$12 million G1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m).
Just weeks after savouring G1 Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m) glory with Stronger – his first win at the top-level as a trainer – Whyte took it up a notch this afternoon, not least thanks to an accomplished ground-saving steer from Shinn.
“It’s very satisfying, this horse (Russian Emperor) deserves it more than anything but more so the owners. They have been so patient and they’re very good friends of mine and they deserve it – they really do.
“The horse has just bounced back from the International Races and he reproduced that in the mile (G1 Stewards’ Cup, 1600m) and he’s come out today and done what I expected him to do. The rain has helped but, in saying that, he still had to win and he’s just done that,” Whyte said.
Savvy Nine filled second for Whyte – relishing the deteriorating ground and relentless rain under Matthew Chadwick, while Golden Sixty held third under Vincent Ho with Tourbillon Diamond finishing in fourth spot.