Alexander Goldrun First Filly to Claim Hong Kong Cup Title

Alexander Goldrun First Filly to Claim Hong Kong Cup Title
Photo: Associated Press
Jockey Kevin Manning, riding Alexander Goldrun, waves to fans after winning the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup International 2000-meter.
Alexander Goldrun became the first filly to win the HK$18 million (US$2,319,289) Hong Kong Cup (HK-I) by edging out American-bred Bullish Luck at the wire by a short head at Sha Tin Racecourse Sunday. Touch of Land was three-quarters of a length back for third.

The 2,000-meter (1 1/4 mile) distance went in 2:03.30.

Alexander Goldrun's trainer Jim Bolger and jockey Kevin Manning remained confident all week that their filly would put in a strong performance, but that confidence wavered after she drew an outside barrier.

"Her draw was a worry, gate 12 wasn't a help but on the day she broke well and got into a good early position behind Rakti," said Manning.

Alexander Goldrun carries the colors of Miriam O' Callaghan, who named the filly after the family's chain of Alexander hotel chains. A daughter of Gold Away, Alexander Gold Run was produced from the Darshaan mare Renashaan.

The 3-year-old filly was lightly raced during the fall after some good efforts in the Irish and French Guineas. Her first group win came at Longchamp over 2,000 meters when she romped home in the Prix de l'Opera (Fr-I).

"After France there were no options for her to have a prep race but this was always the plan. She will now stay in training for next season," said Bolger.

Just a short head back in second was local challenger Bullish Luck who came so close to giving the Cruz/Coetzee patnership another memorable day.

"We were expecting a big run. Tony (Cruz, trainer) told me whatever happened to switch him off in behind. He is the kind of horse that can quicken up of a slow pace like he did when he won the Gold Cup here last term. He lugged in a bit under pressure and that might probably have cost him."

Rakti ran much better than in Japan, but did not show the form he did in the race last year when he finished second to Falbrav and in group I races in Europe this year.

"He's not quite the horse he was at the start of the season," said jockey Philip Robinson "Better than he was in the Japan but still not quite at his top. He just couldn't find that extra gear. He really gave me nothing in the straight."

Rakti had been very difficult in his morning works earlier in the week, bolting on several occasions.

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