Reigning premier jockey Douglas Whyte scored a Group 1 winning double when he scored on Akeed Mofeed in the Group 1 HK$22m Longines Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Whyte had saluted on Glorious Days for trainer John Size in the previous race, the Group 1 HK$20m Longines Hong Kong Mile (1600m) and was excited to be back in the winner’s circle again on Longines International Races Day.
“It’s been a while between drinks but good things come to those who are patient. I needed a day like today again,” Whyte said.
Winning trainer Richard Gibson was glad to have Whyte in the saddle after the thirteen time premiership winning jockey had beaten him in the Hong Kong Mile when Gold Fun ran second to Glorious Days.
“It’s a great privilege to work with top, professional jockeys like Douglas,” said Gibson.
“I did tell him before the race that I would only forgive him for the Mile if he won the Cup.”
Whyte had positioned Akeed Mofeed perfectly in fourth and fifth sport behind the tearaway leader from Japan, Tokei Halo, before making up plenty of ground on the fence rounding the home turn.
Whyte then attempted to sneak up inside of the leader as he started to roll off the rails for Japanese rider Yutaka Take, but after committing to the run, Tokei Halo rolled back to the fence forcing Whyte to check Akeed Mofeed and eased over his heels.
But Whyte still had plenty of time and once he balanced up the four year old he had the winning trophy in his sights, scoring by one and a half lengths from the pacemaker Tokei Halo who fought on extremely well with Cirrus Des Aigles holding for third sport.
“I didn’t really want to leave the fence but shortly after the Japanese horse rolled off the inside, he rolled back again. And Christophe (Soumillon) had me very snug on the outside but his horse (Cirrus Des Aigles) gave way and I was able to ease back a half length and come to the outside,” Whyte said.
Gibson will now look to race Akeed Mofeed on the international stage and with yesterday’s win plus his win in the Group 1 US$16m The BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) at Sha Tin in March 17 a lucrative stud career lays ahead.
“He’s a very well bred colt. He needed International Group 1 recognition and he’s achieved that today. He’s a very talented horse with a stud future ahead of him and racing abroad beckons but we’ll consider our options before finalising any plans,” Gibson said after yesterday’s win.
Group1 Mackinnon Stakes winner Side Glance ran home fairly from midfield to finish fifth just behind the placegetters in a blanket finish for the minor placings with local hero Military Attack just nutting the British galloper out of fourth place.