Hong Kong speedster Aerovelocity is in line to collect the US$1m Global Sprint Challenge Bonus after winning the Group 1 SGD$1m Krisflyer International Sprint (1200m) at Kranji in Singapore on Sunday.
The winner of three of the ten designated sprints listed for the Global Sprint Challenge will receive the bonus and Krisflyer is one win away after taking it out after winning the Group 1 ¥197,600,000 Takamatsunomiya Kinen (1200m) at Chukyo in Japan on March 29.
The two races most likely to interest Hong Kong based New Zealand trainer Dave O’Sullivan are the Group 1 HK$18.5m Longines Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin on December 13, the race he won last year with Aerovelocity, and the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 7.
The Victoria Racing Club is also offering an extra incentive to lure Aerovelocity to Melbourne for the Darley Classic with an added bonus of $600,000 for the winner of the weight for age race on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival if they had won another Global Sprint Challenge race.
“If he came he would run for the $1 million Global Sprint Challenge bonus, plus the VRC have a bonus where if a horse wins a Global Sprint Challenge leg and then wins the Darley Classic they collect $600,000,” RVs international scout Leigh Jordon told racing .com.
“Therefore, with prizemoney for first and the VRC bonus it would be $1.2 million, plus the Global Sprint Challenge bonus of $1 million, which is $2.2 million.
“That’s a pretty big incentive.
“We invited the horse after he won the Japan leg in March and we’ll continue having discussion with the trainer in regards to a start in the Darley Classic.”
O’Sullivan said that he would discuss Aerovelocity’s attack on the bonus with owner Daniel Yeung before deciding which race to pursue.
“We will sit down with Daniel who owns him. He is up for the bonus now, so I think we will prioritise that, but we will let the dust settle and talk to Daniel,” O’Sullivan said.
Hong Kong based Australian jockey Zac Purton took Aerovelocity to the front after he began so well and O’Sullivan was a little surprised to see him in front, but he was able to hold off the challenges of Emperor Max and Lucky Nine.
“He might have won with a little bit in hand as he was sitting pretty, so we are just relieved,” O’Sullivan said.
“It was not really the plan to lead, but he has got very good gate speed. We did not know what to expect from the local horses here. Obviously they were happy to just let him bowl along.
“Zac knows him very well but I thought he was sitting up a little long on him. At the 300m I was like ‘Let him go for God’s sake.”
Aerovelocity’s Krisflyer International Sprint win was the six year old’s tenth win from eighteen starts and took his overall winning prizemoney earnings to over HK$29.2 million.
Purton was denied winning a Group 1 double when he ran second on Military Attack behind Dan Excel in the Group 1 SGD$3m Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m).