HATTRICK-SEEKING horse Styling City went into race 9 as Sha Tin as one of the better supported favourites for the day and the John Moore-trained gelding delivered, but not in the manner many expected.
After winning his last two races in consummate ease Styling City jumped as a $2.70 favourite at online bookmaker BetEasy, but after a disappointing getaway the three-year-old needed some luck to be competitive in the event.
At the 200m mark it looked like it would be a case of bettors’ remorse for favourite backers as Styling City was floundering, but at the 50m mark the horse somehow found something extra to surge to the line and score an unlikely victory.
Former Hong Kong racing corespondent and current Sky Racing presenter Andrew Hawkins was left shocked by the performance and lighter in the pocket.
How did Styling City win that? I was on Bravo Watchman, finishes third… #HKRacing
— Andrew Hawkins (@AndrewNJHawkins) December 23, 2018
Connections of the horse were overjoyed post-race.
The man who piloted the favourite Douglas Whyte said there’s more greatness to come from Styling City.
“He was on the canvas and he pulled himself forward and only good horses do that, especially over 1,000m here. It was a great effort and going forward there are bigger things to come.
“He’s not one-dimensional, I think he learned a lot today and I think he’ll come out of the run feeling good.”
He wasn’t the only connection to Styling City that was effusive of the win.
Owner Gary Ling couldn’t believe what he saw from his three-year-old gelding. Ling tweeted: “What a unbelievable win for Styling City! (Douglas Whyte) shows one of my most memorable winning races in recent years!”
WATCH BELOW: Styling City scorches late to score at Sha Tin
What a win for Styling City! @DJWhyteJockey finds his run blocked several times but the three-year-old produces a tremendous finish to thwart stablemate Storm Signal right on the line. The winner, completing a double for John Moore, has now won five from seven. #HKracing pic.twitter.com/l7bHm0JglY
— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) December 23, 2018