Military Attack defeats invaders in Hong Kong race

By ROBERT KIECKHEFER   |   April 28, 2013 at 7:39 AM

HONG KONG, April 28 (UPI) -- Military Attack beat a pair of local champions and a trio of international runners to win Sunday's Group 1 Audemars Piguet QE II Cup.

Ridden by young Australian Tommy Berry, Military Attack raced close to the leaders, swung out at the top of the stretch and was 1 3/4 lengths to the good at the finish on the Sha Tin turf course.

California Memory, winner of the last two runnings of the Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Cup, finished second. Eishin Flash, a top Japanese runner, was along for third and Sajjhaa, a Dubai-based Godolphin Racing entrant, finished fourth. The other foreigner, South Africa's Igugu, finished eighth.

The 2,000 meters went in 2:02.15 over good turf.

Akeed Mofeed, winner of the Hong Kong Derby earlier in the meeting, finished fifth and Ambitious Dragon, the two-time Hong Kong Horse of the Year, settled for sixth after being shut off in mid-stretch by California Memory.

Trainer John Moore said he had learned from recent races that Military Attack could run close to the pace and still deliver a winning run. That is exactly how Berry placed him.

"They really ran into the first corner, probably quicker than I expected," said Berry, a 22-year-old who landed in Hong Kong Sunday morning in his first-ever trip outside Australia. "I came out (at the top of the stretch) a little earlier than I wanted to."

Moore agreed the move was slightly premature but said it worked when Military Attack "showed a lot of fight."

"Now we're off to Singapore," Moore added, referring to the Group 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Cup at Kranji in three weeks' time.

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