Unicorn sprints to Cup win

Classic Unicorn
Classic Unicorn wins the Members Cup under Derek Leung.

Zac Purton had to settle for second in the afternoon’s feature as Classic Unicorn (116lb) made it two from two in the afternoon’s feature, the Class 3 Members Cup Handicap (1000m).

The champ had been in the plate for the three-year-old’s debut but handed the reins to Derek Leung when the Chris So-trained gelding was allotted a weight below Purton’s minimum. The chestnut sprinted home in 55.09s, a length and a quarter ahead of Purton on Seven Heavens (133lb).

“He’s a nice horse,” So said. “He showed good pace again. I think he’ll get better after next season and in the future I think he can go 1200 and 1400 metres but not yet, he’s still learning a lot. He doesn’t concentrate but when the pressure comes he kicks.

“A lot of people called me in the last two days because he had lost 40 pounds from his last run but his blood tests were good, he was eating well. You can’t take weight as a standard from his first run, he’s a baby, so for me, I thought he’d run well.”

Classic Unicorn’s win sealed a double for So. The eight-year-old Lotus Breeze took race three, the Class 5 Ownership Pride Handicap (1400m), under Chad Schofield.

Size went close to regaining his two win lead over Moore when Red Desert set for home under Joao Moreira in race 10, the Class 3 Levade Handicap (1200m). But Karis Teetan had other ideas and drove hard and late to take the spoils by a short-head on Coby Oppa, delivering a Lor double in the process.

Jockey Vincent Ho and trainer Francis Lui continued their season of success together when Farhh Above took the opening Racing Club Plate (1200m) for Griffins.

Hong Kong debutant Star Performance took the last, the Class 3 Members Care @HKJC Handicap (1400m) under Dylan Mo. Tony Cruz’s New Zealand import ran a couple of solid races in Group 2 company before his arrival at Sha Tin.