MUSIR gave a good account of himself in the BMW Champions Mile at Sha-Tin in Hong Kong on Monday, going down under a length in third to Xtension, who scored his first Hong Kong win and did so by so by going straight to the very top, claiming victory over a star-studded field.
The absence of speed early in the race, which was completed in 1.34.71, perhaps proved the undoing of Musir and Presvis, both of whom were making ground at the finish but too late for them to get in blows at the winner, and the other overseas contender Royal Bench failed to make an impact after a check early in the straight, finishing eleventh of the 14 runners.
But nothing can detract from the performance of the winner who, after his fourth in last year’s 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, has now shown himself a full member of the top flight in Hong Kong too.
In a slowly run race the four-year-old son of Xaar, trained by John Moore who has now won three of the last five renewals of the event, beat Lucky Nine by half a length, with Musir another short head away in third.
Moore and jockey Darren Beadman combined for the second year in succession for Champions Mile glory, having won the race in 2010 with Able One, who with a preparation shortened by a hairline fracture of the tibia, could not get involved this time. Beadman and Moore crowned a magnificent day with victory in the last three races, of which Xtension’s BMW Champions Mile was the first leg.
“What a great day we’ve had,” said Beadman. “He had the perfect trail into the race. We got onto the right horse’s back in the run home, and my bloke was just too strong for them.”
Jockey Christophe Soumillon said of Musir: “He ran very well. We were in a good position and he kept on gamely.”
Photo: Xtension (Darren Beadman) wins the Hong Kong Mile. Musir (yellow silks), ran on into third. (hkjc.com)