The Danny Shum-trained Green Energy, a New Zealand-bred son of Rip Van Winkle, returned from an eight-month injury absence to win Monday’s public holiday feature at Sha Tin, the Class 2 Hong Kong Reunification Cup Handicap (1200m).
John Moore’s Thanks Forever and the Frankie Lor-trained Big Party were expected to dominate and were sent off at odds of 3.3 and 1.7 respectively. The hype horses failed to live up to expectations though as the 41/1 outsider stalked the lead, shifted out at the top of the straight and forged on to a neck win under Dylan Mo.
“Green Energy had a left-fore tendon issue, which he had since he transferred from Peter Ho last season,” Shum said.
“He had two really hard races early in the season and he got an injury, which was really bad.
“We took him to Conghua and there was a moment when I said to the owner, ‘I want to retire him’ – I didn't want him to struggle but they were very generous and said ‘take your time, we have a lot of time, just do your job’.
“It wasn’t a strong field for a Class 2 1200m race and he’s got good ability. He had a good draw (1) and he can kick, so I told the owners he had a good chance, even when at that time he was 49/1 – he shouldn't have been that price.
“The horse is not 100 percent fit – I’ll run him again in the Class 2 on the last day of the season,” he said.
The six-year-old gave Mo his biggest career success and his 24th this term.
Originally sold by Haunui Farm for $250,000 at the 2014 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale to the bid of Bruce Perry, Green Energy raced as Vanderkemp for Kris Lees in Australia.
The son of Rip Van Winkle was purchased privately on behalf of his new owners by bloodstock advisor Ian Sham.
Meanwhile, ex-pat Kiwi trainer Paul O’Sullivan has his stable in fine late-season form. The handler saddled the first two home in the Class 5 World-Class Leadership Handicap (1650m, dirt) as the Karis Teetan-ridden Hidden Spirit (NZ) (Alamosa) charged home from deep to finish three lengths ahead of stablemate Mi Blanco (NZ) (Cape Blanco).
Deal Maker (NZ) (Darci Brahma) had his first start for Jimmy Ting in the Class 4 Continuous Development Handicap (1650m, dirt) and hit the mark under Chad Schofield with a two and three quarter-length win.
The win made it a race-to-race double for The Oaks Stud stallion Darci Brahma, who is the sire of Beauty Loyal, the winner of a Class 4 over 1400m in the race prior. – NZ Racing Desk