The Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races mark the end of the international flat racing season, with four Group 1 events contested on Sunday afternoon over the turf course at Sha Tin under weight-for-age conditions, before a crowd in excess of 51,000. HKJC Executive Director of Racing, Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges said, "It's the best international race meeting we have staged in 8 1/2 years. Fantastic racing and the figures were very good with an increase of 27% in attendance on last year and a 9.6% turnover increase."
The showcase event of the day is the $2.6 million (all purses converted to US) Hong Kong Cup (G1) at about 1 1/4 miles. Pride, the superb French mare, rounded off a fantastic career with a highly emotional victory as the 5-2 favorite. The Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained 6-year-old hung on by a short head in a thrilling climax from Admire Moon and will now be retired to broodmare duty. Her jockey, Christophe Lemaire, came wide into the straight travelling well and when he asked Pride to quicken, she swept into the lead to win by two lengths. It looked as if the chestnut mare had her rivals tamed but then 10-1 Admire Moon uncorked a withering late burst and Lemaire had to summon every last effort from Pride to scrape home in front, completing the trip in 2:01.60 over good-to-firm turf. Last year's winner Vengeance of Rain was third in the field of twelve.