Impressive Mogul wins Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin

Champion trainer Aidan O’Brien’s star mare Magical was third in the Hong Kong Cup

Mogul ridden by Ryan Moore wins the Hong Kong Vase international horse race at Sha Tin. Photograph: Getty Images

Mogul ridden by Ryan Moore wins the Hong Kong Vase international horse race at Sha Tin. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Aidan O’Brien ended his 2020 campaign with a 15th Group 1 victory of the year when Mogul emerged an impressive winner of Sunday morning’s Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin.

Jockey Ryan Moore guided the regally bred colt to an authoritative defeat of local star Exultant in the mile and a half contest.

Later on the international carnival card O’Brien’s star mare Magical was third in the Hong Kong Cup and afterwards the champion trainer didn’t rule out both horses continuing to race in 2021.

Mogul was already confirmed as racing on as a four year-old and has been cut to 12-1 for next season’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

However after having had a broodmare career postponed once already, O’Brien hasn’t ruled out Magical continuing to grace the track as a six year-old.

“The lads (Coolmore owners) will chat between themselves what they want to do for a week or 10 days after the race. Then they’ll talk to us and decide.

“She looks great after the race and seems to have pulled up sound. I suppose we’ll take her home and see what the lads want to do,” O’Brien reported from his Ballydoyle base on Sunday.

“She would be some mare to have for next year. If she comes home well and everything is well, we’d love to have her but it will be the lads’ decision,” he added.

Should she race on, Magical will get an opportunity to secure an eighth top-flight career success which would make her the most successful Group 1 horse of O’Brien’s stellar career.

She scored three times at the top level this year - including her epic defeat of Ghaiyyath in the Irish Champion Stakes in September - which is the same tally as her classic winning stable companion Love.

Mogul’s success brought O’Brien’s Group 1 haul for what has been turbulent year to 15. The Irishman established a world record 28 top class wins in 2017.

It was a third win in the Vase for O’Brien and Moore who teamed up twice with Highland Reel in 2015 and 2017.

Moore, who later completed a ‘Slam’ of the carnival’s four top races on board the Japanese horse Danon Smash in the Sprint, was notably impressed by Mogul’s performance.

“He’s a horse that we always expected a lot from. He was a good two-year-old, he won his Group 2 race at Leopardstown. I don’t know, maybe just the way this season unfolded, he took a while to really pull himself together.

“Maybe he was just a bit behind Derby Day (when sixth to Serpentine) and we were always on the back foot. He was super impressive when he won in Paris (Grand Prix de Paris) and his Breeders’ Cup run (fifth behind Tarnawa in the Breeders’ Cup Turf) wasn’t without merit.

“Today, the race worked out nicely for him, he’s beaten a really solid yardstick in Exultant. He (Exultant) always seems to consistently perform to the same level and never seems to run a bad race around here. He’s put them away very nicely,” the Englishman said.

“In reality, I was in front sooner than would have been ideal today but he took me there nicely. When he gets in front, he maybe lacks a bit of concentration still but he’s a beautiful looking horse.

“He’s got a fantastic mind and it doesn’t stress him. He’ll be a really nice four year-old,” he added.

The third Ballydoyle runner on the card, Order of Australia, couldn’t add to his shock Breeders Cup success, finishing out of the frame behind local star Golden Sixty in the Mile.

The other Irish contender, Ken Condon’s Romanised, failed to fire on his final career start and finished last of the 10 runners.

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