The sad loss of Hinchinbrook was highlighted yet again at Sha Tin on Sunday when his quality sprinter Beat the Clock claimed another major victory in the Group I Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m).
Beat The Clock displayed the class that has made him a champion to complete back-to-back wins in the HK$10 million feature.
The ever-reliable bay’s narrow victory over Thanks Forever sealed a Group 1 double on the day for trainer John Size and jockey Joao Moreira, following Waikuku’s defeat of Beauty Generation in the Stewards’ Cup (1600m).
Beat The Clock’s success was his fourth at the highest level and maintained his incredible record of placing top three in all 24 career starts – 10 in the prime spot.
“Good horses always know where the finish line is and they know what they’re being asked for, which is to cross that finish line first,” Moreira said of Hong Kong’s champion sprinter.
But all was not plain sailing for the Brazilian and his mount. Plan A was binned when Beat The Clock was last to break in the seven-runner field, forcing his rider to improvise.
“I was a bit worried about it but there was nothing I could have done about it,” Moreira said. “Just a fraction before the gates opened he wanted to lunge into the front gates and when he was coming back, that was when the gates opened, so he wasn’t able to step out with them.
“He quickly got back into the race. I had to give him a chance from there, just ride for luck and the split came at the right time. Once again he proved that he’s probably the best sprinter in Hong Kong.”
The six-year-old wound up and hit the lead approaching the final 100m and held the battling Thanks Forever by a head with another Size-trained galloper Hot King Prawn third. The winning time was 1m 08.57s after Beat The Clock sprinted the final 400m in 21.91s.
“He seems to overcome the circumstances of a race, whatever they may be, to win. That’s something you can’t deal with, he just does it himself,” Size said of last month’s G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) hero.
“He gives you a very nervous time and a very nervous feel but it’s one of relief when they deliver. That’s a high-rating win, his last win, so to repeat that is very difficult but that just means he’s got more there. He’s a worthy winner of four Group 1s and he deserves it.”
Bred by Jilly Henderson from Lion Hunter mare Flion Fenena, Beat the Clock was a $200,000 NZB Ready to Run purchase from the Prima Park draft and was a successful pinhook for them having been originally snapped up for $70,000 from the Yarraman Park draft at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale.
The final crop of yearlings by Hinchinbrook are selling this year and were in hot demand at the 2020 Magic Millions with 17 yearlings averaging $258,529, his best result a colt from Harlem Heat that made $1,150,000.