Longines HK Cup gives hometown stars a clean sweep
By Alan Aitken
The $28 million Longines HK Cup was a triumph in the psych war for trainer Frankie Lor and jockey Silvestre de Sousa and wrapped up Hong Kong's first clean sweep of its own showpiece meeting.
Hong Kong runners had won 3 of the 4 G1s before but Glorious Forever made it a perfect four in winning Hong Kong's richest race.
With much of the pre-race talk about whether Glorious Forever and his brother Time Warp would again engage in a no holds barred fight for the lead, as they did in the lead-up race when both failed, Lor conceded late in the week that Glorious Forever would not fight Time Warp for the lead.
That took all the apprehension out of pre-race tactics but when the gates swung open de Sousa speared Glorious Forever straight to the front, putting the onus on Zac Purton (Time Warp) to make it a war of attrition that would harm them both - Purton decided against that and Glorious Forever was able to control throughout to win as Time Warp had 12 months earlier.
Japan's Deirdre charged into second late in the race, with Christophe Lemaire having critics for overdoing his waiting tactics but the rider said he believed the mare had her chance and the best horse had won.