Glorious Days, in his first start since June, came running down the middle of the track to win the Longines Hong Kong Mile (HK-I) by three-quarters of a length over Gold-Fun Dec. 8 at Sha Tin.
Packing Whiz was along for third, giving Hong Kong a sweep of the top placings in a race that was expected to be a battle between the elite European females Moonlight Cloud and QIPCO One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) winner Sky Lantern. Neither figured in the running, with Moonlight Cloud finishing sixth and Sky Lantern last of 14 starters.
Glorious Days, with Douglas Whyte up for trainer John Size, broke well back from post 13. He waited patiently behind a quick pace dictated by United States-based grade III winner King Kreesa.
As King Kreesa and the other frontrunners folded their tents straightening for home, Whyte had Glorious Days rolling and he took the measure of Gold-Fun in the final 100 yards.
"It's a great training job by John Size," Whyte said, noting Glorious Days had been idled with various issues since a dismal effort behind Longines Hong Kong Sprint (HK-I) victor Lord Kanaloa in the Yasuda Kinen (Jpn-I) at Tokyo in his previous start June 3.
The Hong Kong Mile victory was the first in a group I double on the Hong Kong International Races card for Whyte, who returned aboard Hong Kong Derby winner Akeed Mofeed to capture following race, the Longines Hong Kong Cup (HK-I).
Last season, Glorious Days did battle repeatedly with Hong Kong Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon, finishing second to that runner in last year's edition of the Mile but winning the head-to-head competition in two other races.
"We've been a bridesmaid quite a few times," Whyte noted.
Whyte said he got the pace Glorious Days needed. "It was always going to be difficult for the pacesetters to stay there," he said.
The final time for the mile on firm going was 1:33.60, about half a second faster than standard on a day when the track was producing consistently quick times.
Glorious Days is a 6-year-old Australian-bred gelding by Hussonet out of the Centaine mare San Century. He is owned by Tom Brown's Syndicate.