The John Size trained Glorious Days’ win in the Group 1 HK$20m Longines Hong Kong Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin on Sunday will help lift the spirits of champion rider Douglas Whyte.
Whyte’s reign as the leading Hong Kong jockey looks certain to come to an end this season with Australian jockey Zac Purton clearing out to a twenty-one win lead in the premiership and barring injury or bad luck, will end the thirteen year domination by Whyte.
But Whyte was at his best in timing his run to perfection and brought Glorious Days from third last at the 800m to claim Gold Fun close to the finish to score a comfortable win in the end.
“He was really travelling into the race with a lot of purpose and it was a matter of keeping his momentum up and getting Gold-Fun near the line,” Whyte said.
“We’ve been a bridesmaid a few times but to win this race today with this horse first-up, ah he’s amazing.”
“This is a great tribute to John Size – what a great training performance to win against some of the world’s best milers first-up is wonderful.”
Size is currently leading the Hong Kong trainer’s premiership with twenty-six winners this season is on track to win another title and showed why he is the number one trainer by preparing Glorious Days win over 1600m first up.
It was sweet revenge for Size and Whyte after Glorious Days was beaten three quarters of a length when second to Ambitious Dragon in last year’s Hong King Mile.
Australia’s only entrant on the Longines International Race Day was the John Sadler trained Linton who faded over the concluding stages to finish in thirteenth spot.
Melbourne Cup winning jockey Damien Oliver positioned Linton midfield on the fence but the grey had no dash in the straight and could only manage to beat one runner home.
Linton was having his first run for eight weeks after missing a run in the Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 9 because of an elevated temperature and then had to regain several kilos following his flight from Melbourne.