• Racing/
  • California Memory Makes Cup History

Longines Hong Kong Cup (Group 1 Stakes) 1m 1f 208y

  • (3yo+, 1m 1f 208y, Class 1, 11 runners)
  • Winner HK$12,586,195 2nd HK$4,760,800 3rd HK$2,365,002 4th HK$1,082,399 5th HK$545,597 6th HK$325,604
  • Going: Good
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Off time: 08:42:59
  • Last Updated: December 9 2012, 12:18 GMT

California Memory became the first horse to win back-to-back Longines Hong Kong Cups at Sha Tin.

California Memory: Followed up his 2011 success
California Memory: Followed up his 2011 success

Tony Cruz's grey was perfectly positioned in behind the pace in a slowly run contest with Neil Callan aboard outsider and eventual fourth Dan Excel setting the fractions.

German raider Feuerblitz raced keenly and briefly joined issue at the head of affairs but Matthew Chadwick was always poised to pounce aboard the favourite.

Victory never looked in doubt once the pair pulled out to challenge towards the centre of the track as last year's hero ran on strongly to claim a famous success.

Chadwick, who spent time in Britain riding for Charlie Hills this summer, said: "I'm over the moon. He's a good little horse. It's all about him, he's been good to me and his connections."

The winning trainer said: "He showed great acceleration, and showed his authority today. When he quickened Matthew said he put everyone to bed. And then he started to idle in front, and the horse started thinking 'where is everybody?'. But when they started to come back to him he thought I'd better go a bit faster again.

"We have to give credit to the vet Ben Mason, because the horse has had his niggles and been lame many times, but he fixed the problem" Cruz added.

Giofra ran a huge race to stay on from an unpromising position to claim second with Australian raider Alcopop (winner of the Mackinnon Stakes) coming from even further back to finish third.

Christophe Soumillon felt Giofra could have been closer still granted a better draw.

He said: "Had we got a better draw, we would have won the race. The winner took off when we were still struggling to get out of there and by the time I could go, we were six lengths back.

"However she showed that she was up to the task and hopefully could emulate Pride, that is come back here and win the Cup!"

There was no such finishing kick from Carlton House who was having his last race for Sir Michael Stoute before heading to Australia to join Gai Waterhouse.

Moore was reluctant to offer any excuse for Carlton House's defeat, saying: "He wasn't good enough today really, but the ground was plenty quick enough for him."

The French-trained Saonois also failed to sparkle and his jockey Antoine Hamelin said: "It is disappointing as he prepared very well and we were quite hopeful before the race.

"He jumped all right but we had to fight a bit in the back stretch which switched him on a bit early. We could have lost a bit of power there but he should not have finished so poorly anyway. I guess he will get a bit of rest now."

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