Designs On Rome Named Hong Kong Horse of Year
Designs On Rome was named Hong Kong Horse of the Year of the 2013-14 season during ceremonies July 4.
After winning the Hong Kong Derby and Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (KH-I) during the season, the son of Holy Roman Emperor was also named champion middle distance horse. He also secured 32% of the public vote to claim the "Most Popular Horse" title for the year.
Trained by John Moore for owner Cheng Keung Fai, Designs On Rome is only the third Hong Kong Derby winner to go on and win the QEII Cup in the same season.
The Champion Awards, held in the Grand Hyatt's Grand Ballroom, marked a new format for the unveiling of Hong Kong's end-of-season champions. In recent times the winners had been revealed at intervals throughout the season's final race meeting.
Lucky Nine was crowned champion sprinter in recognition of his back-to-back wins in both the Chairman's Sprint Prize and Singapore's KrisFlyer International Sprint (Sin-I). The son of Dubawi is trained by Caspar Fownes for Dr. Chang Fuk To and Chang Lee Ming Shum.
The champion stayer title went to the Dominant, primarily due to his storming run in December's Longines Hong Kong Vase (HK-I) that saw him defeat the outstanding British mare The Fugue. Moore also is the trainer of the son Le Vie Dei Colori, who is campaigned by a syndicate.
Pan Sutong's Gold-Fun, by Cacique and trained by Richard Gibson, was awarded the champion miler title after a season that included wins in the Jockey Club Mile and the Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup, as well as second place in the Longines Hong Kong Mile (HK-I).
Bullish Smart, a 3-year-old Soldier Hollow gelding owned by Wong Wing Keung, was unveiled as the season's champion griffin (a horse that is imported to Hong Kong unraced). The Tony Cruz-trained Hong Kong International Sale graduate has won three times and placed twice from five starts since his debut in March.
Wong Wing Keung also campaigns Divine Ten, who was deemed the season's Most Improved Horse. The Me Tsui-trained Bauhinia Sprint Trophy winner, also a son of Holy Roman Emperor, rose 59 points to the end campaign on a mark of 111.
Brazilian sensation Joao Moreira emerged as the people's choice for Most Popular Jockey, accruing 43% of the vote.
The season's champion trainer, champion jockey, and champion apprentice awards will be presented July 6 during Sha Tin's season finale.
The public also voted to decide the Most Admired Overseas Horse, and that accolade went to Japan-based Lord Kanaloa. The outstanding sprinter proved his greatness with a second victory in December's Longines Hong Kong Sprint, a performance that saw him power five lengths clear of a world class field.
Pleasure Gains carried off the Hong Kong International Sale bonus to cap a fine season. Trainer Manfred Man saddled the Hong Kong International Sale graduate, a son of Cape Cross, to four wins and a third in the Chairman's Trophy.
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