Class prevailed as short-priced favourite Rapper Dragon came away to score a dominant victory in Sunday’s HK$10 million Hong Kong Classic Mile at Sha Tin.
Big-race trainer John Moore had seven of the 14 runners, but it was his heavyweight who stood above them all.
Rapper Dragon showed his credentials for the four-year-old series last season, winning four races, including the Group Three Lion Rock Trophy.
He entered the race with a rating of 114, 14 points clear of his nearest rival while meeting them all at level weights and it proved the difference.
Rapper Dragon (ex Street Rapper) soars in $10m HK Classic Mile from Seasons Bloom (ex Le Capitaine) & Beauty Generation (ex Montaigne) pic.twitter.com/yRVF2tZcrS— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) January 22, 2017
Star jockey Joao Moreira settled Rapper Dragon just off the speed, before launching in the straight and spearing to the front, beating the fast-finishing Seasons Bloom (Nash Rawiller) by two lengths and stablemate Beauty Generation (Zac Purton) was third.
One-time boom horse Pakistan Star jumped very well and settled closer than he has in any of his previous starts, but over-raced a touch during the middle stages to finish fifth.
The result sets the stage for Rapper Dragon to have a serious crack at sweeping the series with the Classic Cup (1,800m) and the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2,000m) next on the agenda.