Sunday 9 December 2018 11:00 am

Horse racing: Glorious day for De Sousa as he lands Hong Kong Cup

Ben Cleminson writes about sports betting

Ben Cleminson writes about sports betting

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HE IS the reigning UK champion jockey, but now Silvestre de Sousa has plundered the biggest prize Hong Kong has to offer following Glorious Forever’s victory in the Longines Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin.

It capped off a remarkable week for the Brazilian jockey who had won the International Jockeys’ Championship at Happy Valley on Wednesday.

The ex-Ed Walker trained four-year-old picked up just under £6,000 for winning a Class 4 handicap at Sandown in September 2017, but yesterday he won over £1.5m for his connections.

De Sousa, who is riding in Hong Kong for a four-month stint, won the early battle for the lead against last year’s winner Time Warp.

“It has worked out perfectly,” said De Sousa. “I wanted to be in front but I didn’t want to overdo it. I won the battle for the first 300m.

“I was going so well at 800m, I thought to myself that for someone to come and take the race away from me, they’d have to be very good.”

Asked if there’s ever a time when he might appear in Hong Kong full time, he said: “Yes, why not?”

Glorious Forever was making history as it was the first time ever that Hong Kong had won all four Group One International Races.

His victory sealed a double for trainer Frankie Lor, who only began training last season, after Mr Stunning won the earlier Hong Kong Sprint for the second year running.

That wasn’t the only case of déjà vu during the afternoon, as Beauty Generation confirmed himself as the world’s top miler by taking back-to-back Hong Kong Miles in scintillating fashion under champion jockey Zac Purton.

Legendary Hong Kong trainer John Moore described the performance as by far the most impressive of any of his horses during his career and confirmed that the Dubai Turf is now firmly on the agenda.

Purton secured a double for the second year running at the Hong Kong International Races after Exultant saw off Lys Gracieux in the Hong Kong Vase.

Formerly Irishcorrespondent when trained by Mick Halford in Ireland, the gelded son of Teofilo was giving Hong Kong just their third success in the Vase in the last 25 years.

A memorable afternoon then for the racing mad locals on what is always one of the best day’s racing during the year.

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