Karaka graduate Aerovelocity (NZ) (Pins) produced another supreme performance at Sha Tin today to win the HK$18.5 million Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) for the second time in three years.
Two years have passed since the Windsor Park Stud-bred galloper first emerged as an international sprinting superstar with his 2014 Hong Kong Sprint win – his first Group 1 success. He followed that up with block-buster performances in the 2015 Group 1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen and KrisFlyer International Sprint, then the HK-1 Centenary Sprint Cup earlier this year.
Some feared that age and the years of international sprinting competition were beginning to take a toll on the eight-year-old, but Aerovelocity proved them wrong in style. The champion galloper, trained by expat New Zealander Paul O’Sullivan, once again took on the world’s best and won.
Rider Zac Purton extricated Aerovelocity from an awkward position approaching the home turn and took the race by the scruff of the neck, dashing to the lead. He was fiercely challenged in the straight by Lucky Bubbles (Sebring), but he refused to surrender and held on to win by a head.
“He’s a warrior and he gives everything he’s got,” Purton said. “Although he didn’t perform at his best today, his heart is so big that he’s able to give us that effort.
“We had a lovely run in the race and he came out and he was just able to amble up. It was hard-fought in the end, but he is all heart.”
A son of the Kaapstad mare Exodus (NZ), Aerovelocity was bred by Windsor Park’s Nelson Schick and Steve Till. He was offered by Windsor Park at the 2010 Premier Sale, where he sold to O’Sullivan for $120,000.
Raced by Daniel Yeung Ngai, Aerovelocity has had 24 starts for 12 wins, seven placings and more than HK$45 million (NZ$8.13 million) in prize-money.