Gr3 in Hong Kong – Sweet Sanette beats Horse of the Year

Sweet Sanette ridden by Greg Cheyne just holds on from Sacred Kingdom

Sweet Sanette under Greg Cheyne and trained by Tony Millard, benefited from being ridden on the pace and a sizeable pull at the weights to deny Sacred Kingdom, the reigning Horse of the Year, a record-equalling 18th victory in the Gr3 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy over 1000m.

Sacred Kingdom had been bidding to equal the Hong Kong record of 18 career wins achieved in the past decade by the great Silent Witness and also by Super Win during the 1970s.

Previously raced in South Africa, the Highlands bred five-year-old mare Sweet Sanette began her Hong Kong career in the Gary Ng stable but on Saturday made her debut for the in-form Tony Millard team and was reunited with jockey Cheyne who rode her to two victories last season.

Races down the 5f chute at Sha Tin usually favour horses drawn high and closer to the grandstand rail and that was where the winner raced as she vied for the early lead.

Sacred Kingdom, meanwhile, was not assisted by his low draw with Brett Prebble opting to take the seven-year-old back to near the tail of the field and making his run again down the preferred stands side.

With two furlongs to race, the champion was still about four lengths adrift of the winner, who was also in receipt of 16lb from the triple world champion sprinter.

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