Hong Kong legend Designs On Rome (6g Holy Roman Emperor-Summer Trysting, by Alleged) earned lavish praise from trainer John Moore after winning a second G1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The son of Holy Roman Emperor was claiming a fourth career G1 success when showing great guts to score under Tommy Berry.
Designs On Rome was three lengths adrift of an otherwise two-by-two field of 11 as stablemate Dan Excel led off the turn into the backstretch. With 800m to race the six-year-old began his trademark advance.
Designs On Rome responded to Berry’s aggressive drive with apparent relish, skirting the field and driving to the fore with 150m to race, boxing past old foe Military Attack and punching on to the wire for a half-length call over stablemate Helene Happy Star, the mount of Joao Moreira.
“I’m thrilled. He’s repeated and he’s done it in fine style,” said trainer Moore, for whom this was an 11th Gold Cup success. “He’s so talented, he’s got to be number one. Of my other Gold Cup winners, Viva Pataca was good, but the way this horse does it, coming from last, right around the field and winning – he’s just an equine champion. He’s very exciting to watch and for that reason I’ll put him on top.”
The six-year-old, bred in Ireland by Moyglare Stud, also drew great praise from Berry.
“He feels the same as when I rode him in the past,” said the Australian rider. “He doesn’t give any sort of feel from the gates, but as soon as I give him a click up at the half-mile he gets going and finds three or four lengths.”