It was a grand day for Godolphin Dec. 9 in Hong Kong, with a win and a second for its two runners in the Cathay Pacific International Races at Sha Tin Racecourse.
Following a narrow defeat in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile (HK-I) with Creachadoir a short head back of Good Ba Ba, Sheikh Mohammed’s racing stable scored the big prize on the card, taking the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup (HK-I) with Ramonti.
In the other two International Races, local sprint star Sacred Kingdom won the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint (HK-I) and Doctor Dino proved best in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase (HK-I).
Ramonti was winning his fourth of six starts this year for trainer Saeed bin Suroor after being purchased by Godolphin following a third in last year’s Mile. The 5-year-old son of Martino Alonso was piloted by Frankie Dettori. The other three group I wins in 2007 by Ramonti were in England.
There was a stewards inquiry and objection by the rider of the second-place finisher, Mike Kinane, aboard local hopeful and heavy favorite Viva Pataca, but the order stood. Musical Way was third in the seven-horse field.
Ramonti covered the 1 ¼ miles in 2:02.80.
Out of the El Gran Senor mare Fosca, he was bred in France by Scuderia Siba.
In the Mile, Good Ba Ba was an important winner for trainer Andreas Schutz, who is in his second season training in Hong Kong after a successful career in Germany.
In a thrilling stretch duel, Good Ba Ba and jockey Olivier Doleuze just beat Creachadoir and Dettori, with Darjina in third. The winner, owned by John Yuen Se Kit, is by Lear Fan out of the Zilzal mare Elle Meme. The 5-year-old gelding was bred in Kentucky by Haras Santa Maria de Araras.
Doctor Dino won the Vase with an excellent ride from Olivier Peslier, waiting for room and then flying late to get home 1 ½ lengths in front of Quijano. The 5-year-old son of Muhtathir is trained by Richard Gibson for owners Dr. Javier Salmean and Dino Nanni of Spain.
Europe’s Horse of the Year, Dylan Thomas, finished mid-pack in 7th.
Doctor Dino was bred in France by Ecurie Pelder.
Local sprinter Sacred Kingdom put on an awesome display of speed down the stretch to beat last year’s winner of the race, Absolute Champion. Australian sprint star Miss Andretti failed to negotiate the right hand turn and struggled home 10th of 13.
Sacred Kingdom, beaten only once in nine starts, is owned by Sin Kang Yuk and trained by Ricky Yiu. The Australian-bred was ridden by Gerald Mosse.