Nash Rawiller fired Secret Weapon (6g Choisir-Just Devine, by Montjeu) to an explosive victory that scuttled the big guns in the G2 LONGINES Jockey Club Cup over 2,000 metres (10 furlongs) at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Dennis Yip’s 6/1 shot was last of nine at the turn into the home straight but quickened between rivals to take the lead 150 metres out, drawing clear for a length and a half triumph.
“Everyone’s seen this horse at his best, and when he can get that uninterrupted run and have an opportunity to let go like that, he’s a very high-class horse, and that’s what he proved today,” Rawiller said of the son of Choisir.
The six-year-old ran the final 400m in 22.55s and stopped the clock at 2m 00.92s, the second fastest time in the race’s history.
“We were able to bide our time behind Joao and Military Attack and he gave me a brilliant cut into the race,” added Rawiller. “He was very strong over the 2,000 metres today and you’d still expect there to be some improvement for International day.”
Secret Weapon’s win was Yip’s first in open Pattern grade and the trainer is now eyeing one of the big pots at the HK$83 million LONGINES Hong Kong International Races on Sunday, 11 December.
The British import, bred by Carmel Stud, is engaged in both the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup at the course and distance and the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1,600m).
“I think the 2,000 metres is his best distance, so we’ll aim towards the Cup in three weeks’ time,”
Yip said. “Today I was very confident because last season he ran very well in the Gold Cup at this course and distance.”