While racing may be on an enforced hiatus across much of the world, it continues in Hong Kong and the Darley stallions enjoyed a tremendous day at Sha Tin on Sunday, 26 April with G1 winners for Exceed And Excel and Teofilo.
Exceed And Excel’s seasoned campaigner Mr Stunning enjoyed a sensational return to winning ways when flying home late to land the Chairman’s Sprint Prize.
Mr Stunning was settled in the middle of the pack for much of the six-furlong contest and there were several horses in contention as they quickened for home. Mr Stunning, once finding a gap, burst through to take the lead and crossed the line three quarters of a length ahead of Big Time Baby, with the same margin back to Thanks Forever in third.
This was Mr Stunning’s third victory at G1 level, having won the Hong Kong Sprint in both 2017 and 2018. He has also notched up three G2 wins, in the Sprint Cup, Jockey Club Sprint and Premier Bowl. His victory today takes his earnings to almost £6 million, easily making him Exceed And Excel’s highest earner.
Exceed And Excel has now sired three G1 winners in 2020, following Bivouac’s victory in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington last month, and Queen Supreme’s win in the Paddock Stakes in South Africa in January.
Mr Stunning was bred in Australia by Makybe Racing and Breeding and is a son of the Dayjur mare With Fervour, who has bred five winners in Europe, Asia and Australasia. With Fervour is a daughter of the three-time US G1 winner Fran’s Valentine.
Later on the same card, it was the turn of another high earner to further increase his prize money haul, this time Exultant (pictured) in the feature race of the day, the Queen Elizabeth II Cup.
Exultant raced in fifth during the early stages of the 10-furlong contest, before moving up to second with six furlongs left to run. Exultant then surged clear once entering the final two furlongs and easily held off the late challenge from Furore to win by three quarters of a length.
Exultant, who was Classic placed in his native Ireland (when racing as Irishcorrespondent), has now won four G1 contests, all in Hong Kong.
He was bred by Ballygallon Stud and his full story can be read here.
Exultant is one of 16 G1 winners for Teofilo, whose other star performers include Melbourne Cup hero Cross Counter and Classic-winning duo Pleascach and Trading Leather.