Reliable Team became the second Group winning graduate by Reliable Man sold by Red Hare Bloodstock when winning the Gr.2 BOCHK Jockey Club Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on Sunday.
Reliable Team’s Group win follows fellow RHB graduate Kinane’s 2020 Gr.3 Frank Packer Plate win at Royal Randwick in Australia.
“I’ve always liked the progeny of Reliable Man and it’s very exciting to have pinhooked a second group winning son of him,” said Red Hare Bloodstock’s Justin Wong.
“As a young horse, he always displayed that classy athleticism.
“I’m thrilled that he has done so well on the track in Hong Kong, clearly it is a milestone achieved for me to identify him as a potential athlete and to be involved in his early stages before he became a top quality racehorse.”
Under a superb ride from Derek Leung, Reliable Team refused to yield in a slowly-run race, where the winner clocked 2m 03.86s, more than three seconds outside of standard time.
Leung successfully stacked up the field before dashing over the last 400m in 21.81s defeating Ka Ying Star by a neck with Glorious Dragon a further length and a quarter away in third.
“We were always trying to get him to lead in the race and he got a bit lucky, there was no pressure on us to go too quick,” Leung said. “So, the horse was quite relaxed and he’s very fit.
“Step by step, we build the speed up. He responded very well and I think we were very lucky.
“The other horses didn’t give us any pressure, so we saved some strength for the last quarter (400m). I think 2400 (metres) will be even better for him,” Leung said.
Trainer Frankie Lor was also surprised no other horses pressured Reliable Team.
“Ka Ying Star jumped a bit slow so my horse was on his own and could relax a bit through the race,” Lor said.
Reliable Team has been entered in both the Gr.1 Longines Hong Kong Cup (2000m) and Vase (2400m) but Lor said he would most likely contest the longer races.
“I enter him both, but I think 2400m should be better for him,” Lor said. “We need to keep the horse in good form and then we’ll see.”
The Gr.1 Longines Hong Kong Vase (2400m) takes place at Sha Tin on December 12.
Reliable Team was pinhooked by Red Hare Bloodstock and sold through the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale via Phoenix Park, where he was purchased by Upper Bloodstock for $430,000.
“I purchased Reliable Team privately as a yearling from Mapperley Stud via New Zealand Bloodstock. He was a nice type that I thought would sell well at the Ready To Run Sale with a bit more time to develop.
“He was then sent to Janine Dunlop’s Phoenix Park where he was expertly prepared for the sale and he subsequently made a good price,” Wong said.
“It’s great to see his owners, the Nova Stella Syndicate being rewarded for their investment and I can’t wait to follow his future success.”
Reliable Team has now won seven races and close to HK$13,000,000 for his owners the Nova Stella Syndicate.
Fellow Reliable Man, Kinane was the first stakes winner pinhooked by Wong he was purchased from Highden Park out of the NZB Karaka Book 1 Sale in 2018 and on sold to Phill Cataldo Bloodstock for $165,000 at the NZB Ready To Run Sale of 2YOs later that year. He has since won two races, including the Group Three and placed in three of twelve races.
Wong will be active at Karaka again at the NZB Yearling Sale Series, which will now run from March 7 – 12, as both a buyer and seller.
“I have two Per Incanto fillies selling in the NZB Yearling Book 1 draft, one out of Nigelissima and another out of Luxe.
“I am hopeful that I will be able to travel to New Zealand for the sale with the new March sale dates.” – Picket Fence with additional reporting by HKJC
To watch a replay of the race click here.