HONG KONG: John O’Shea was shattered after his star mare Sea Siren flopped in the Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin on Sunday.
It was impossible for the trainer to hide his disappointment after his three-time group 1-winning mare finished a distant ninth to Japanese star Lord Kanaloa.
The four-year-old provided Japan with their first success in the International meeting’s feature sprint.
Although best known as a hotbed of staying talent, the Japanese representatives – Lord Kanaloa and Curren Chan – were highly rated by good judges, and Lord Kanaloa delivered, running a fast one minute, 8.50 seconds.
Relishing the fast pace set by Cerise Cherry, jockey Yasunari Iwata, who won the 2006 Melbourne Cup on Delta Blues, gave Lord Kanaloa full rein 300m from home and sailed to the lead. He had a comfortable 2½ lengths to spare over Cerise Cherry on the line with Captain Sweet in third.
Sea Siren raced well below expectations. “She had an ideal preparation, and I’m at a loss to explain the run,” O’Shea said. “I just want to watch the replay and speak to Jimmy [Cassidy]. She fits the right profile of a sprint winner and had a perfect preparation. I was thinking of going to England but now plans are a little hazy. I just want to get her home and possibly look at a race like the T.J. [Smith] on her home track.”
Cassidy said: “I was three deep with cover but after racing the Melbourne way of going at her past two runs – then back to this way [of going] is not an easy task.”
The Australian contingent had more success in the 2000m Hong Kong Cup when veteran gelding Alcopop flashed home for a classy third. The nine-year-old Caulfield Cup runner-up and Mackinnon Stakes winner finished behind California Memory and Giofra.
Earlier, Red Cadeaux, beaten by the narrowest margin in Melbourne Cup history last year, was on the right side of a narrow win in the Hong Kong Vase.
Jockey Gerald Mosse had Red Cadeaux fifth ”in the running line” at the halfway mark then drove clear with 200m to run, and held off Jaguar Mail to win by a short head.
Former Sydney jockey Zac Purton won the Hong Kong Mile on board Ambitious Dragon.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.