Vinery Stud’s vintage finish to the Hong Kong season reached a crescendo at Happy Valley on Wednesday evening when Star Turn 3yo Sugar Sugar propelled Joao Moreira into a share of the lead for the jockeys’ premiership.
Moreira is the defending champion and he goes into the final meeting of the season at Sha Tin this Saturday equal with Zac Purton on 132 wins.
The ‘Magic Man’ swept home on Sugar Sugar who was landing his first win for trainer Caspar Fownes in the Sung Tak Hcp (1200m). “It’s been a good night with good results,” Moreira said as he returned to scale. “It’s getting all of us excited for Saturday.”
Sugar Sugar topped Star Turn’s consignment to the 2020 Inglis Ready2Race Sale at $250,000. He was offered by Valiant Stud’s Fergal Connolly (as agent) and is from NZ-bred mare In The Moment (Keeper) who is a winning half-sister to Autumn Jeuney (MVRC Tesio Stakes Gr.3).
“I had seen him as a yearling and he’s improved on type in the last nine months,” Hong Kong agent Peter Twomey said at Riverside Stables. “He’s a nice horse and I was hoping no-one else would go another bid.”
Sugar Sugar is the third individual winner for Vinery’s up-and-coming sire Star Turn in Hong Kong this season and they have won a total of 10 races topped by Group 3 winner Cordyceps Six (Sha Tin Vase).
Star Turn’s profile is soaring in several jurisdictions. His first Group 1 winner arrived when brilliant Brisbane filly Startantes flew from last to land the Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 25.
That was book-ended by his Singapore Champion 3YO-elect Golden Monkey at Kranji. He was a runaway winner of the Singapore 3YO Sprint (LR, 1200m) on June 18 and Singapore 3YO Classic (LR, 1400m) on July 9.
Headwater completed a running double for Vinery at Happy Valley when his 3yo United Endeavors also won for the first time in the Hau Tak Hcp (1600m). He chased the leaders with a noticeable high head-carriage and stayed on strongly when pressed inside final furlong.
“It was unexpected but that win means a lot,” comeback jockey Keith Yeung said after returning to scale on the $35 outsider. Yeung had been sidelined since sustaining multiple fractures in his right foot at Happy Valley in April.
United Endeavors was bred by Arcella Thoroughbreds using Headwater over Illinois Magic (Zabeel). He was exported after finishing second to Kallos (Medaglia d’Oro) in a Hawkesbury 2yo barrier trial. The Godolphin colt progressed to a Group 2 victory in the 2021 VRC Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.
All Too Hard was the catalyst for Vinery’s late-season surge in Hong Kong. His star sprinter Wellington claimed the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) at Sha Tin in April and in a subsequent one-month winning streak he added multiple winning gallopers the calibre of Bundle Of Charm, My Ecstatic, Alcari and Keefy.
Vinery Stud’s 2022 roster is headed by Ole Kirk ($55,000) alongside All Too Hard ($38,500), Exceedance ($33,000), Star Turn ($27,500), Headwater ($16,500), Press Statement ($8,800) and Casino Prince ($5,500)
For bookings or further information, please contact Adam White (0414 800 918) or Harry Roach (0401 970 006).