Happy Sebring has given Vinery a winning entrée into Hong Kong’s Champions Day at Sha Tin this weekend.
Trainer Tony Cruz prepares the Vinery graduate and the Heather Hcp (2200m) prizemoney on Wednesday night increased his earnings to the equivalent of AUD $926,000. It was his fifth win since arriving from Australia and his first at Happy Valley.
Sent to Congua for a quick break in March, he responded to the change of scenery with a hard-fought one-length victory over Vincy (Ire) and London Hall (NZ).
Happy Sebring has been a work in progress since Dougie Whyte sooled him to a breakthrough victory at Sha Tin in May 2018. “He climbed off the canvas which is a great sign,” Whyte said. “He’s got an engine but won’t be at his best until he hits at least a mile.”
Cruz will saddle odds-on favourite Exultant (Ire) in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup Gr.1 this Sunday when one of his rivals will be More Than Ready expat Eagle Way. Vinery sires are also represented in support races by Jade Theatre (Pluck), Wellington (All Too Hard) and Shining Ace (Testa Rossa).
Happy Sebring is by More Than Ready’s Golden Slipper winner Sebring from Here De Joy (Dehere) who is related to Hong Kong Sprint Gr.1 winner Inspiration. He was bred by Patrick Hodgens in partnership with Vinery bloodstock manager Adam White and sold for $300,000 at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
“It’s been enjoyable to watch Happy Sebring do so well over there,” White said. “Patrick is a good friend and a valued client and currently has 8 mares here.”
Here De Joy has an unraced 2yo filly named Lady Simone (All Too Hard) and was bred back to Headwater last September. “We still own Lady Simone,” White added. “She is yet to be really tested but has pleased Mark Newnham with her development.”
Hodgens raced Testa Rossa mare Amelie’s Star to Group victories at Flemington, Randwick and Morphettville.
He is also in the Vinery partnership that raced Runway Star (Northern Meteor) to victory in a Proud Miss Stakes Gr.3 in Adelaide. Her Sebring filly was part of Vinery’s draft to the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale earlier this month and she made $250,000 to the bid of Port Stephens owner Bruce Mackenzie.