The roller coaster career of Pakistan Star has hit a new high with a stunning display to smash his rivals in the Group One Audemars Piguet QE II Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Tony Cruz’s five-year-old started his career as a social media sensation, had some narrow misses in a couple of features before refusing to run in a race, but now he has that all-important Group One win to his credit.
Jockey William Buick, who replaced Kerrin McEvoy who had to pull out with an ear infection, who replaced Silvestre de Sousa who couldn’t find appropriate flights out of England, settled Pakistan Star in the box seat behind race favourite Time Warp.
The career of Pakistan Star has been one twist after another, but he prevails on the biggest stage today as he takes the #QEIICup by a big margin for William Buick and Tony Cruz. Gold Mount second, Eagle Way third in a 1-2-3 for Hong Kong #HKChampionsDay #HKRacing pic.twitter.com/lbHkYeFjHG— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) April 29, 2018
But when the split came at the top of the straight, Buick sent Pakistan Star through and the race was over – scorching across the turf to win by three lengths from Gold Mount and Eagle Way. Hong Kong Derby hero Ping Hai Star was fourth.
“He really showed his class today,” Buick said.
Extraordinary! Pakistan Star for William Buick wins the QEII Cup.— Michael Cox (@KemblaCoxy) April 29, 2018
Maybe win isn’t the right word, he smashed them! pic.twitter.com/ZRXWTsggUn
Earlier, boom sprinter Ivictory has given Zac Purton his second Group One of the day with an exceptional performance in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize.
Trainer John Size competed the trio in the HK$16 million feature as Ivictory beat home Mr Stunning and Beat The Clock.
It completes a stunning rise to the top from the four-year-old, who has now won seven of his eight starts – including his past five.
Peniaphobia and Godolphin’s Blue Point battled for the lead early, setting the race up perfectly for the runners at the top of the market and they cleared out from their rivals.
While Mr Stunning and Beat The Clock were proven at the level, it was their upstart stablemate who had their measure on the line.
Beauty Generation captured his third Group One of the season with a bold front-running display in the Champions Mile at Sha Tin.
The John Moore-trained five-year-old was all the rage in betting, jumping a $1.90 favourite, and he justified the short price with a dominant display.
Despite some pressure from Pingwu Spark and Singapore Sling early, Purton held the front and the gelding did the rest, running his rivals into the ground to claim the HK$18 million feature.
Western Express and Southern Legend hit the line well to fill the minor placings. The second favourite, Seasons Bloom, was never in the race.
“He’s just honest, he just goes out and runs the same race every time,” Purton said.
The result puts Beauty Generation in the box seat for Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year title, having already won the Hong Kong Mile and the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup.