BUMPER Star, the horse his owners drew out of the hat, continued on his prolific way when a mixture of sheer class and brute tenacity saw him home by a short head from Master Eagle in a thrilling L'Or De Martell Cup at Sha Tin last night. The Carmelite House gelding, part of the penultimate crop of subscription griffins to come to the territory, has now won six of his seven starts for trainer Patrick Biancone and eight of his last nine. In the process he has amassed some $3.8 million in stake money and emerged as one of the finest horses in the territory. His rating will now go to around the 127 mark and see him right up there with Makarpura Star with whom he will dispute the Horse Of The Year title. The victory was particularly sweet for Biancone as not only did it give him some tremendous publicity in Britain as the race was shown live on Grandstand, the popular Saturday afternoon sports show, but it also pushed him nearer his first Hong Kong trainers' championship. Biancone beamed after the race: 'I'm not normally lost for words but that's how I almost find myself - he's such a brave and talented horse. 'We all thought he didn't appreciate the trip in the Gold Cup. I suppose it wasn't so much that he didn't stay the 2,000 metres, just that he's so much more effective over 1,400 metres or a mile as the faster pace allows him to settle. He pulled too hard for Eric in the Gold Cup which is why he didn't have his normal kick left at the finish.' Biancone had planned to rest Bumper Star for next season after the Gold Cup but a quick check through the programme book revealed the L'Or De Martell as a parting shot for the season. Bumper Star should be even better next term and lead the local defence of the International Bowl. Master Eagle had a perfect trip throughout under Tony Cruz and he was receiving fully 17 pounds from Bumper Star. The win took Biancone to 38 winners for the season, momentarily leaving him three clear of Wong Tang-ping and four ahead of Master Eagle's handler, John Moore. But Ping hit back with a win in the seventh from the Greg Childs-ridden Wonderful who had little trouble holding outsider, Solar Century. Childs, the visiting New Zealand jockey, was completing a double, having earlier scored a shock win on Electric Power for Gary Ng Ting-keung in the fourth event. Veteran Australian handler Neville Begg was another in double form, taking the fifth with the improving Jolly Good Winner and the sixth with Noble Regent to move to the 18-winner mark for the season. Alan Munro found a dream run on the far rail to dash Jolly Good Winner to the front close home from the favoured Sensible Choice and Owners' Success. Begg's stable jockey Darren Gauci did the job well for his boss on Noble Regent just half an hour later to hold the fast-finishing Karaoke. Mick Kinane's season had no dream ending when his mount Mazal, the hot favourite, could only run home fourth to Pasha in the final local event on the National card.