Uncoiling a powerful rally from eighth with 400 meters to run, Super Satin stormed from the outside in the straight and wore down Super Pistachio for a narrow win in the $1,894,075 Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby at Sha Tin.
Super Satin pushed his head in front of Super Pistachio (formerly 2008 Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf runner-up and French classic-placed Westphalia [Ire]) to earn his first stakes win. The top two finishers were sired by Coolmore’s Irish-based shuttle stallion Danehill Dancer.
Super Satin finished the 2,000-meter (9.94-furlong) race in 2:03.59 on turf rated as good. The victory was particularly satisfying for champion trainer Caspar Fownes and nine-time champion jockey Douglas Whyte as it marked their first win in the Hong Kong’s most prestigious domestic race.
Whyte said early pace was quick, but then the tempo slowed with 800 meters to run and he was faced with a decision.
“Then [Fair Trade] went and I followed him,” Whyte said. “As a result, I was three lengths closer than I might have been early in the straight, which made all the difference.”
Super Satin had clear running room entering the straight and took aim on Super Pistachio, who had seized the lead with 200 meters remaining. The five-year-old gelding gradually reeled in that opponent to triumph late for owner Ranjan Tikam Mahtani.
Super Pistachio outfinished Brave Kid for second by a length in the 14-horse field.
Whyte was the regular rider of previously unbeaten Brave Kid, whom he had guided to six wins in as many starts for trainer John Size. He said he was determined to find just the right horse to break his long winless drought in the Hong Kong Derby, though, and was convinced after Super Satin’s strong performance in a gate trial on March 5 at Sha Tin. Super Satin entered Sunday’s race off a runner-up finish in Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby Trial on February 16.
Super Satin improved to six wins in 15 career starts. A New Zealand-bred, he is out of the placed Rock City mare Mantles Princess, a half sister to 1998 Kong Kong Derby winner Johan Cruyff, who was multiple group-placed in Europe.