Irish and World Racing Round-Up

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ASIA

There’s been plenty of action taking part across the Irish Sea and the sunnier climates across the world over the weekend, with some high-class jumps racing as well as championship turf events in the far east, here’s what happened across the globe.

The pick of the racing came from Hong Kong, with Sha Tin hosting the annual Hong Kong International Races. Despite a plethora of European raiders, none of them could get on the scoreboard on a card dominated by the host trainers.

Silvestre De Sousa continued his flying form on his winter stint when guiding Glorious Forever to victory in the Longines Hong Kong Cup.

The four-year-old, who used to be trained in the UK by Ed Walker, held off the determined challenge of favourite Deirdre to provide De Sousa with his maiden group one success in Hong Kong.

Silvestre de Sousa

Beauty Generation proved himself to be one of the world’s leading milers when pulverising his opposition to claim the Hong Kong Mile.

Royal Ascot could now be a long-term target for the six-year-old, who was winning this race for the second year in a row. European raiders One Master, Beat the Bank and Inns of Court finished down the field.

Mr Stunning produced a stunning performance to land the Hong Kong Sprint, where British raider Sir Dancealot finished last, and Eziyra produced a gallant effort in finishing third in the Hong Kong Vase, but she was no match for the winner, Exultant.

In Japan, the grade one Hanshin Juvenile Fillies went the way of Danon Fantasy for Italian jockey Cristian Demuro. The Japanese classics could be on the agenda for the two-year-old next season.

IRELAND

Back closer to home, Min managed to bag his first open company grade one in the John Durkan Memorial Chase despite encountering a rough passage in the race.

The gelding, who was disqualified from a grade one at Leopardstown last Christmas, was short of room just before the home turn, but the seven-year-old had an abundance of both pace and stamina to register a comfortable success.

The intermediate trip may bring out the best of Min, who fell just shy of top level over two miles last season, and it is likely the gelding will be aimed at races such as the Ryanair Chase and Melling Chase come the spring.

Shattered Love finished a staying-on second place while Balko Des Flos was again slightly disappointing in third. Elswehere on the card, Getabird got his career firmly back on track with an impressive performance on his first chase start.

Despite his lofty reputation, his career looked to be spiralling out of control after some disappointing performances at the major festivals last spring, but the six-year-old was foot perfect when recording a seven-length success.

Higher targets will now be in his sights, however, don’t expect him to turn up at Leopardstown, Cheltenham or Aintree as he must go right-handed.

Willie Mullins At Cheltenham

Smart bumper horse Tornado Flyer got his hurdling career off to an impressive start in the maiden hurdle, giving Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins a treble on the day.

Mullins’ fortunes were not carried over to Cork though, after his chief hope, Great Field, crashed out at the second fence of the Hilly Way Chase.

One of the more enigmatic characters in National Hunt Racing, this was meant to be the starting point for Great Field to really kick-start his career, which has been plagued by injury troubles, but it wasn’t meant to be.

His pain was Castlegrace Paddy’s gain, who sauntered to a 13-length success. It was a mightily impressive performance and he could well be a dark horse in some of the major races this winter. The consistent Doctor Phoenix finished second and the evergreen Special Tiara came home in third place.

There was success for Mullins at the Mallow track however, with Camelia De Cotte scoring in the mares novice chase, which in turn gave Paul Townend a four-timer on the card, and Derrinross caused a shock to take the stayers novice hurdle.

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