As the thirteen competitors entered the starting gate for the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint, many had backed the racing sensation from Australia, Apache Cat. After a wonderful performance in the Winterbottom Stakes, it was believed that Apache Cat would be able to conquer the field easily during this one thousand two meter event. To the disappointment of his trainer, jockey and connections, it seems that this racing event was too short for the turf champion and they had to settle for a third place finish.
The 14th of December was big day for horse racing in Hong Kong, with the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races taking place at the Sha Tin Racecourse. With a purse of $2.3 million, the Hong Kong Sprint was one of the top events for the day, and seeing Apache Cat in the lineup for the race made most punters confident that they could predict the winner. Sired by Lion Cavern, Apache Cat is a six year old racehorse that has shown, time and time again, that he has champion blood, but is also a horse that continues to improve and evolve, as his horse racing career grows. With most of his face being white, he is a horse with striking features and is known to be one of the most beautiful horses in the racing industry today.
Corey Brown tried to encourage Apache Cat to rejoin the race in the last three hundred meters of the Hong Kong Sprint, but by the time Apache Cat managed to fight his way out of his flat spot, it was too late to make an attempt on the race leader. Trainer, Greg Eurell, commented that he had noticed that his horse tends to hit flat spots and that even though their third place finish, behind Inspiration and Green Birdie, was rather disappointing, it has also helped them to realize that Apache Cat might need longer distances to reach his full potential. Apache Cat did suffer some interference within the last hundred meters of the racing, but both his jockey and trainer did not feel that it would have changed the outcome of the race, and therefore did not lay a complaint.
It would have been a wonderful moment for Eurell, and Australia, if Apache Cat was able to win the Hong Kong Sprint, but it seems that they will have to change tactics with Apache Cat and find racing events better suited to his abilities and comfort level. As for the Inspiration camp, celebration was the order of the day, with winning trainer, John Moore, commenting after the race: “I only put him in for the run at the last minute. We weren’t expecting an invite for him and I thought he was making up the numbers. I’m still pinching myself that we won it. But I guess it shows what can happen when you have a fit horse and a great jockey. Darren gave him the ride of the century.”