VERCINGETORIX ran a game race in Sunday’s Gr1 Audemars Piguet QEII Cup in Hong Kong, crossing the line in third place behind stablemates Designs On Rome and Military Attack, trained by John Moore.
Vercingetorix eased back to settle after a good start from his inside draw with Mike de Kock’s other runner, Sanshaawes, chased up from a wide draw to dispute the pace.
Vercingetorix (blue cap), third to Designs By Rome (red and yellow) and Military Attack (obscured). – Photo from hkjc.com
Vercingetorix was a lenghth or two out of his ground when the field started the sprint for home and with no room on the inside, jockey Anthony Delpech switched him to midfield for a clear run. He had to pause momentarily while waiting for the gap to open and ran on well into third when it did, but the hard-galloping Moore-pair had raced away and had the finish to themselves.
Delpech commented: “It looked like Vercingetorix was held up but really he had his chance. I’m not sure he quite gets the ten furlongs (2000m) in this class. He had his chance to get to them in the straight. Still, he ran very well. I think he ran as good as he could have.”
Moore hailed Designs On Rome as “outstanding” as he became only the third HKG1 BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) winner to achieve success in the same season’s APQEII Cup, joining an elite bracket that also features the superstars Vengeance Of Rain (2005) and Ambitious Dragon (2011).
“I’ve got my hands on a very good one but I told all the public quite a while ago that I thought he was international Group 1 class,” Moore said. “I think he is Hong Kong’s champion now. I think after winning that today he’d be Horse of the Year. He will go on, barring setbacks, to the (HKG1) Standard Chartered Champions & Charter Cup (2400m) to really seal the deal.”
Sanshaawes didn’t have much to come after chasing the pace early, fading into ninth of 10 runners and jockey Olivier Doleuze said: “He wasn’t good enough but he battled on and he showed some fight but we were checked late which didn’t help his finish.”