Japanese outsider wins the HK Mile

Steve Bennett Steve Bennett
  • Japan claims it's 2nd Group One of the Longines Series
  • Admire Mars wins the HK Mile in a boilover
Japan claimed it’s second major Group One victory on Sunday as Admire Mars won the HK Mile in a boilover.

Much to the surprise of many, the talented three-year-old slipped under the radar of many and upset what most thought would be a battle of two others in the event.

Admire Mars returns to scale after winning the Longines HK Mile 

Sent out an unwanted $34 chance, Brazilian-born rider Christophe Soumillon had the horse perfectly placed throughout the run.

 
Passing the 200m mark, Soumillion let loose on the four-year-old and he doggedly got the upper hand from local hero Beauty Generation who tired badly over the final stages, finishing third.

Another local hopeful, Waikuku, also passed the Hong Kong 1600m champion to finish runner-up in the event. 

It was also a sentimental victory for the winning connections as the blue and white silks carried to victory were those of Riichi Kondo, one of Japan’s most significant owners, who died only a few weeks ago.

Soumillion paid tribute to the late owner.

“He was probably one of the biggest private owners in the Japanese racing industry, he was somebody very famous who loved horses” he said.

“We could see his colours from a long time ago, they won nearly everywhere.

“We had the bad news a few weeks ago so I’m really proud and happy to take these colours so high today.”

Soumillion also praised his mount on the effort.

“I knew my horse was very strong, although his last run wasn’t that good” he said.

“He was the best two-year-old last year in Japan, probably the best three-year-old in Japan too.

“I knew he could stay that distance quite well, he has good gate speed, he liked the ground, so I was quite happy.

“I rode my race as if he was the favourite and it paid off.”

Winning jockey Christophe Soumillon parades aboard Admire Mars

Trainer John Moore spoke highly of Beauty Generation, despite suffering his third-straight loss.

“He was gallant in defeat,” Moore said.

“In his last two runs he hasn’t been hitting the line as we’d expect.

“That’s what Zac said and he confirmed that.

“He’s just not going through the gears when he gets into the straight and he did it again today.

“The Stewards’ Cup will be his next Group 1 race and we’ll take it race by race from there.”

Joao Moreira was also full of praise for his mount, claiming Waikuku did well considering his wide draw.

“It was an extremely good run, he had to face a tough gate and I had to drag him back,” he said.

“He wasn’t having much luck from there but he’s a good second to a good horse.

“We didn’t have too much luck from the gate and I think that is what has got him beaten.

“That’s the reason why I pulled him back otherwise I was going to get tracked wide.”

Indy Champ came in for solid support leading up to the race and was sent out a very warm $2.90 favourite but he failed to show up in the run home.

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