King Dancer, an Irish-bred son of Danehill Dancer, rallied from far back to upset the Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby Trial (HK-II) on the Feb. 16 Chinese New Year card at Sha Time Racecourse.
The 1 1/8-mile race, witnessed by a holiday crowd of 85,000, was a prep for the 1 1/4-mile Hong Kong Derby, (HK-I), also sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, on March 14.
The winner, trained by British-based Sean Woods, was sent off at odds of about 18-1 and defeated second choice Super Satin, with 4-7 favorite Beauty Flash third.
King Dancer, who had raced in Great Britain under the name Uramazin at age 2, has won five of 12 starts. He races for Peter Chu Ka Lok.
“I have been very confident with this horse from last year, to be honest,” Woods said in a statement. “Things haven’t gone quite right but we haven’t pushed any buttons because the Derby is a long way from the start of the season. We really got stuck into him this last couple of weeks and everything has come together well, though he is still very playful.”
Although Woods said King Dancer will appreciate the added distance of the Derby, he believes 1 3/8 miles to 1 1/2 miles will be his ideal running distance.