Aussie Bred Wins Champions Mile

Tara Madgwick - Monday May 8
Six year-old Australian bred Hussonet (USA) gelding Contentment claimed another major victory in Hong Kong on Sunday when taking out the Group I Champions Mile.

Contentment - Grant CourtneyTrained by John Size and ridden by Brett Prebble, Contentment scored a determined neck victory in the 1600 metre feature, but had to survive a protest from the runner-up Beauty Only, an Irish bred son of Holy Roman Emperor.

"The race didn't go to plan, I was a little shuffled up around mid-race but that actually worked out well because he hasn't had a bunny to chase for a while," Prebble said.

"When Helene Paragon shot to the front quite early, that gave him an extra bunny to guide him along and give him something to look at.

"He has a tendency to gaze around at things in the final stages – that's why he had the blinkers on last time but they didn't work out so the pacifiers were back on.

"When he got to the front today, he was waiting again and looking, and when Beauty Only came to him he dug deep again. He's a quirky horse but he's definitely got that performance there when he can give it to us – 100 percent of the credit goes to John; he's a genius."

Contentment stopped the clock at 1m 35.23s as he scored a first victory since his previous Group I win in the Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) back in March, 2016.

He was also runner-up to Maurice in last year's Champions Mile and has been consistent albeit without winning.

"The track condition was the difference this afternoon," Size said after claiming a third win in the race (2003 Electronic Unicorn, 2009 Sight Winner). "It just feels a little bit softer underfoot and that might have helped."

Contentment as a yearlingAnother Inglis Classic success story, Contentment was bought by John Foote Bloodstock from the Arrowfield Stud draft for just $65,000 and has won 10 of 29 starts.

Bred Paul Favretto and partners, Contentment is the first foal of Jemison, a placed Commands mare from the family of Group I winner Align and Group II winner Fritz's Princess.

Jemison has a yearling filly by Animal Kingdom (USA) and weanling filly by Dundeel, who covered her again last year.

Footnote: The race was marred by the tragic breakdown and subsequent loss of the race favourite Rapper Dragon.

HKJC - The post-race atmosphere was anxious even before the objection notice was raised. The crowd had gasped when, with 750m to race, Rapper Dragon, the BMW Hong Kong Derby winner and 1.4 favourite, went lame. Joao Moreira’s mount was racing at the tail of the pack and stopped abruptly.

Rapper Dragon received immediate treatment from the on-course veterinarians and walked into the horse ambulance. The Moore-trained gelding was taken to the on-site Equine Hospital where he was diagnosed with a fractured pelvis.

Head of Veterinary Clinical Services, Dr Christopher Riggs, said: "Rapper Dragon suffered a severe fracture of his pelvis which, unfortunately, was coupled with serious complications. Despite our intensive care in the equine hospital, we were unable to save him.”

Mr. Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, said: "We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to all of those involved in the life and care of Rapper Dragon, in particular, owner Albert Hung and his family.”

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