As they went neck and neck down the straight, only a bob of the head could determine the winner of the Group 1 Champions Mile at Sha Tin.
The Caspar Fownes trained Southern Legend was ultimately awarded the victory, beating out short-priced favourite and Honk Kong champion horse, Beauty Generation.
Having sat outside of the leader before taking front position at the final turn, Beauty Generation couldn’t hold on as Southern Legend launched.
With local jockey Vincent Ho aboard Southern Legend, the pair looked to have Beauty Generation beat, but Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year found another gear, fighting back hard only to be out-bobbed on the line.
Southern Legend was originally being prepared for a tilt at a third-straight win in the Kranji Mile but those plans had to be changed when Singapore racing shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic. Fownes however pivoted his seven-year-olds program to Sunday’s feature meeting at Sha Tin with racing continuing in Hong Kong without public attendance.
While the local horse Beauty Generation couldn’t salute, local jockey Vincent Ho who served his apprenticeship under Fownes delivered one of the stories of the night.
Fownes praised Ho for his patience and hard work, showering the local rider with plenty of praise.
“This is all about Vincent. He deserves that more than anyone.” Fownes said.
“With hard work, if you keep plugging away, things will come your way. To get it on my horse, that’s extra special.”
Fownes went as far to say that Ho could challenge stars Zac Purton and Joao Moreira as the leading jockey next season.
“He’s been a great kid and he deserves all the success he can get and I think hopefully next season, if the local trainers and all of us can get behind him, we can certainly put him up there to fight it out with Zac (Purton) and Joao (Moreira).”
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