Derby Quinella for Moore – Smith’s Record-Breaking Star

A perfectly executed ride by J B Hamel has given Nick Moore his second Group victory, with Hostwin Achilles taking out Saturdays Group 3 Derby Trial, defeating his much more fancied stablemate Circuit Miles (Luis Corrales), in the 1500 metre contest.

Moore was bullish all week about the chances of Circuit Miles, the horse that he has set for the Derby, with Hostwin Achilles ending up in the race purely as an afterthought.

HOSTWIN ACHILLES winning the MACAU DERBY TRIAL (GROUP 3)
HOSTWIN ACHILLES winning the MACAU DERBY TRIAL (GROUP 3) Picture: Macau Jockey Club

"I'm absolutely stoked, what a surprise that was; and to quinella the race as well. I do think Circuit Miles  should have won, only bad luck beat him, but I am thrilled with the win by Hostwin Achilles and so happy for the owners Mr. and Mrs. Tam.  Jason (Tam) has been a huge supporter of mine, and was also a great supporter of my Father as well."

"We won the Guineas with Hostwin Saturn last year a Group 1 race, and now we've got a Group 3 with this horse."

Trainer N Moore and J B Hamel
Trainer N Moore and J B Hamel Picture: Macau Jockey Club

"Initially I wasn't going to run him, as he is by Deep Field (Aus) and more of a 1200 metre sprinter; he can get a bit hot and fired up. But the way he ran on late in his last run over 1200 metres, I thought well the race is for four-year-olds and I'll just give it a shot."

"But I've got to say, that I never expected him to be knocking off my main runner Circuit Miles, but J B (Hamel) gave him a beautiful ride. He found cover and got him to relax and just hit the front right at the right time."

STAR OF YIU CHEUNG winning the THE ECUADOR
STAR OF YIU CHEUNG winning the THE ECUADOR Picture: Macau Jockey Club

From barrier six Hamel parked Hostwin Achilles  in fifth spot one off the rails with cover on the back of Cherry Road. Initially wanting to over race in the early stages, the Frenchman got the gelding to switch off and relax beautifully.  A crucial move from the six hundred mark by Cherry Road who went forward to sit outside the leader, ultimately proved to be the undoing of Circuit Miles.  Hamel followed Cherry Road forward and that put him alongside of Circuit Miles and kept him locked away on the back of the leader.  Timing his move to perfection Hamel set his mount alight at the 250 mark and sprinted quickly to hit the lead, Corrales on Circuit Miles was held up momentarily and had to wait until Hamel went to find clear running. 

Jockey Shogo Nakano and Wayne Smith
Jockey Shogo Nakano and Wayne Smith Picture: Macau Jockey Club

Circuit Miles really lifted late and cut the margin back to a half-length on the wire, in what was a great run from a Derby viewpoint. Race favorite Beauty Bolt ran on strongly for third, a further half-length away after having to come wide from the six hundred to get into the race. Both Circuit Miles and Beauty Bolt  will relish the Derby trip of 1800 metres.

Hostwin Achilles was originally with Team Snowden at Rosehill where he raced as Devan, placing in four of his six starts around the provincials. The horsed was then sold and ended up in the hands of Adam Duggan at Gosford, who won two races from three starts with the chestnut at Quirindi and Taree.

CRISPY BISCUIT winning the THE ECUADOR (DIV.2)
CRISPY BISCUIT winning the THE ECUADOR (DIV.2) Picture: Macau Jockey Club

"My brother James sourced the horse for me. He was well bred and we initially bought him to sprint. He was very high strung and nervous when he arrived, and would run his races before he started. I've just taken my time with him trying to get him to relax, I changed his feed and we take him walking around a lot in the evenings to give him a pick of grass and relax him.  He's really turned a corner of late."

"I'll run both him and Circuit Miles in the Guineas, but I can't see Hostwin Achilles in the Derby. I couldn't see him getting 1800 metres, but Circuit Miles will love it."

Star Of Yiu Cheung  has returned to the racetrack with record breaking all the way win, in Saturday's Class 1 & 2 over 1200 metres under Japanese ride Shogo Nakano.

Prepared by Wayne Smith, last years Derby and Macau Gold Cup runner up, simply destroyed his opposition and smashed the long standing 1200 metre record set by Warcat, back in October 2008.  When the clock stopped it was a super slick 1.07.2 recorded by Star Of Yiu Cheung, snipping .01 off Warcat's old standard of 1.07.3.

Beginning smartly off his inside gate Star Of Yiu Cheung quickly took command of the race to lead on the bridle. At the top of the straight Nakano gave the son of Casino Prince  (Aus) more rein, and the big bay lengthened his stride to power away from his rivals and win by almost seven lengths untouched.

"I knew he would win, but I never thought he would do it that easy and break the track record on the bridle; that was mind blowing." Smith said.

"He had not run since January after he pulled up with muscle soreness in his back after he ran on the sand. Plus, he had to have a sinus operation as well, so it's been a bit of a trying time, it's a relief to see him back like this. He was only eighty percent fit for this race, so there is still some improvement there."

"He got a really bad sinus infection the needed an operation. Dr Grant Scott assured me that he had great success with horses he had done in the past, and he done a great job with him."

Dr. Scott, who is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, is the Macau Jockey Clubs Senior Veterinary Surgeon. He explained how the procedure works.

"We drilled a hole into the frontal sinus just above the horses left eye. The frontal sinus communicates with the maxillary sinus.  We then inserted a tube onto the cavity with a balloon inside so that it would not come out, and then for the next ten days we flushed it out with a diluted iodine solution.  Once you are done and you take the tube out, the hole heals over in no time."

Smith has earmarked the Class 1 on June 12 over 1500 metres as the gelding's next start." I'll aim him for that and we'll see what comes along after." Smith said.

"In any other year without Covid we would having some fun. It's a pity we can't travel to Hong Kong or Dubai with him."

The Class 1 on June 12 will be prove to be a thrilling contest, as Star Of Yiu Cheung will run into his Derby nemesis Sacred Magnate, who snatched victory from him in the last stride in the race last year.

Sacred Magnate  also went around on Saturday's program in the second Division of the Class 1 & 2 Handicap (1200), but was denied victory by the speedy Crispy Biscuit ridden by Fausto Henrique.

Crispy Biscuit  prepared by Patrick Lee was given a gem of a ride by Henrique to park off the speed set up by Loxwood (Masa Tanaka).  Once the straight he soon got the better of Loxwood and looked as though he would win comfortably, however Sacred Magnate literally sprouted wings over the final stages and only came up a nose short at the line.

Interesting to note the difference in the run times of 1.08.3 Crispy Biscuit as opposed to Star Of Yiu Cheung's 1.07.2.


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