Vision D'Etat, who was questionable to even make the starting gate only one day before, showed a blistering turn of foot to stun a top class field in the HK$20 million Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup (HK-I) at Sha Tin on Dec. 13.
Vision D'Etat gave his French trainer, Eric Libaud, a second victory in Hong Kong International Races following his success in the 2002 Hong Kong Vase (HK-I) with Ange Gabriel.
Vision D’Etat suffered a skin infection after he bumped himself in his stall Dec. 12, an injury that left him slightly lame. But Libaud knew the 4-year-old horse was back to his best when he saw him out on the all-weather the day of the race and that was confirmed when the horses turned into the straight and jockey Olivier Peslier bearing down. They moved up menacingly to challenge and swept past the local odds-on favorite Collection in the final yards.
Peslier won his record seventh international victory, one more than his fellow countryman, Gerald Mosse, who had scored earlier in the day on Daryakana in the Vase.
Peslier said: "It is always a good sign when this horse is lazy during his races as he was today. He was similar when winning at Royal Ascot. I didn't want to get to the lead too soon because I was worried he might try and stop in front. He kept fighting today."
Libaud said: "As for our next race, he will stay in training and we'll have to think about Dubai next."
An amazed Darren Beadman, rider of the odds-on Collection, said: "Gosh, the winner was impressive. He came past me with his ears pricked but we have run right up to our best.”
Connections of Presvis were not downcast in third. Both trainer Luca Cumani and jockey Kieren Fallon agreed that their Dubai-bound son of Sakhee would come on for the run.
“He's not there yet," said Fallon, while Cumani added: "He has needed this and will be better for it. We'll head to Dubai and decide which race to go for after the trials on the sand and grass."