Pakistan Star shines in QEII Cup
Purton grabs other two Group 1 Sha Tin showpieces
Pakistan Star, an unlucky second last year behind Japan's Neorealism, went one better in the HK$24 million (S$4 million) International Group 1 Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin yesterday.
It was a magical moment for jockey William Buick, who got the Tony Cruz-trained ride only at the last minute after the intended jockey, Australian Kevin McEvoy, was stood down by Racing New South Wales stewards after winning a race at Hawkesbury on Saturday.
The British rider certainly made the most of his heaven-sent mount and rode it a treat, coming from the box-seat third to power through race-leader Time Warp and Danburite in the final 300m to score by three easy lengths in 2min 00.21sec for the Sha Tin 2,000m.
"Well, I'm just fortunate to get the ride. Look, he really showed his class today - very straightforward through the race, had a beautiful run through. You know, the only thing that went through my mind was if the split was going to come or not. As soon as it came, he was fast to go in there and he won very well, and he felt like a classy horse," said Buick at the post-race interview.
Earlier, jockey Zac Purton had made it a grand International Group 1 double by capturing the HK$18 million Champion's Mile over 1,600m on the John Moore-trained Beauty Generation and the HK$16 million Chairman's Sprint Prize over 1,200m on the John Size-trained Ivictory.
Beauty Generation led all the way, while Ivictory moved up from a handy third to score his seventh win from eight starts.