MUSIR was beaten only three lengths from a wide draw in his swansong, the Gr 1 BMW Champions Mile at Sha-Tin on Sunday. The race was won by trainer John Moore’s Xtension.
Musir will go to stud at Coolmore in Australia now and jockey Kevin Shea commented: “He had every chance, he had a nice position from stall 12 and he ran well. He’s off to stud now and I’m very happy he’s in one piece.”
Xtension gave John Moore a fourth win in the G1 BMW Champions Mile when repeating his 2011 success for the trainer, this time under young Kiwi riding sensation, James McDonald.
“If he’s okay, we’ll consider heading to Singapore next week for the 2000m (SIA Cup) and James will be asked to ride him again,” revealed Moore. “After that we’ll make a decision whether to go on to Royal Ascot for the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes.”
Xtension, who tracked the now veteran pace-setter Able One, burst through in the final 200m and held on courageously to take the spoils by half a length from the strong-closing John Size-trained runner, Glorious Days, with Lucky Nine a further half-length back in third for trainer Caspar Fownes. The winning time was 1m 35.23s.
Hong Kong’s reigning Horse of the Year, Ambitious Dragon, ran on strongly from the rear to claim fourth spot, a length and a quarter behind the winner, and trainer Tony Millard said, “I’m disappointed. He’s still run home in 21.9s, which is a terrific effort and we move on.”
Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Chief Executive Officer of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, hailed an exciting race on a day that saw turnover rise in comparison to same day last year.
“It was a terrific BMW Champions Mile, it was the strongest field we have ever had for the race,” said Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges, “and we were rewarded with a more than exciting race. Xtension came back to his best form and Lucky Nine ran a great race in defeat from Gate 14. We hope now that our horses can go on and perform well overseas.
“The decision to split the BMW Champions Mile and the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup, and have this race a week later, has proven to be the right decision. We are delighted the extra week has enabled us to attract horses of the calibre of Cityscape and African Story. Business-wise, we are very happy that today has produced a significant increase in turnover, up by more than 8% to HK$1,121 million.”