Pakistan Star became an internet sensation after astonishing last-to-first wins in his first two starts but he’s created headlines for the wrong reasons after refusing to race as 1.2 favourite in the Premier Plate.
Tony Cruz’s star four-year-old was a little slow away in Sunday’s Group Three, but remained in contact with the rest of the field before throwing in the towel after just 100m, shocking the crowd at Sha Tin.
Jockey Joao Moreira tried to urge him on, even pulling the whip, but Pakistan Star simply refused to take part in the race.
Here's the moment that shocked Sha Tin, Joao Moreira didn't pull up, Pakistan Star straight up refused to go with them ... amazing scenes pic.twitter.com/IeT50eZfyP— Michael Cox (@KemblaCoxy) June 25, 2017
The stunning scenes completely overshadowed the rest of the contest, which was won by the Tony Millard-trained Horse Of Fortune, giving young South African jockey Callan Murray his fourth win in Hong Kong and his second at Group Three level.
The Magic Man finally managed to get Pakistan Star going again, the cult hero crossing the line about a minute after everyone else.
Pakistan Star completed course under Joao Moreira. Chief Steward Kim Kelly reported post-race exam of Pakistan Star revealed no abnormality— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) June 25, 2017
It’s not the first time the gelding has refused to run, doing something similar at the breeze-up before the Hong Kong International Sale.
Some of the patrons at Sha Tin didn’t take Pakistan Star’s performance very well, giving it to Moreira in the mounting yard before the next event.
Despite only winning three of his 11 races, Pakistan Star has established himself as one of the most promising horses at Sha Tin after finishing second in the Hong Kong Derby and Group One QE II Cup.