Millard’s Sweet Success!

Sha Tin Sunday score for son of Sepoy

Amazing Chocolate scored a win full of merit in the Class 2 Ashley Handicap at Sha Tin on Sunday which had trainer Tony Millard buoyant that he has yet another bourgeoning star on the dirt within his stable.

“With these dirt type of horses anything can happen, you can suddenly end up with a super horse and he’s got the body and the physique to be a good dirt horse,” Millard said.

Tony Millard leads Vagner  Borges and Amazing Chocolate in (Pic – HKJC)

Millard knows a good dirt horse – he trained Super Jockey to a 2016 KOR Gr1 Korea Sprint (sand, 1200m) win as well as narrow second in the Gr1 Dubai Golden Shaheen (dirt, 1200m) prior to that and today’s win had the South African drawing comparisons.

“He’s very powerful, he’s a powerful horse, he’s a big strong horse, he’s very much like Super Jockey – he’s the same type of powerful horse,” Millard said.

The Sepoy gelding, having only his second start on the dirt, was caught wide under Vagner Borges but managed to dig deep for a narrow win ahead of Will Power , a five-time winner on the surface and star on the dirt in his own right.

“You always have to be hoping but if he can give us another good run like this then we might have something special but he needs to do it again,” Millard said.

The six-year-old joined Millard’s stable at the tail-end of last season, and since then has three wins on the turf and one on the dirt.

“I always thought that he would run on the dirt, he has a dirt pedigree and I had a long conversation with the owner and so we decided to give him a run here and take a chance,” Millard said.

The gelding’s sire Sepoy is a son of Elusive Quality, the father of 2004 Kentucky Derby (dirt, 2000m) winner Smarty Jones.

“I’m very happy with him, he’s progressed and now we’ve seen a different side to him and hopefully he can progress, if he can pick up another one like this it will be very nice,” Millard said.

Currently an 82-rater,Sunday’s win could surge him close to triple figures, after also beating another smart performer on the surface, Red Desert (130lb), while Lobo’s Legend (121lb) grabbed fourth.

“I wanted to try him on the dirt at the end of last season but there wasn’t a race available because instead of running him that 1400 metre race last season we wanted to run him in a 1200 metre race.

“Because if he’d done well we could have planned to maybe go to Korea but he did need to win one on the dirt in order to give us that type of confidence,” Millard said.

Within his stable at present, Millard also has Elusive State, a five-time winner on the dirt who campaigned to Dubai in March, only to return without a run due to the carnival’s cancellation.

“He needs to win another one like this and then if he wins that and we’re happy with him then we can have a really good horse, these type of horses they grow another leg and they can handle it – wow – then they’re immediately elevated to group stages,” Millard said.

  • Hong Kong Jockey Club

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