Moonlight Cloud and Sky Lantern fail to fire in Hong Kong
Last Updated: 08/12/13 11:15am
Glorious Days: Too good for his rivals in the Hong Kong Mile
European big guns Moonlight Cloud and Sky Lantern finished out of the frame as Glorious Days claimed the Longines Hong Kong Mile at Sha Tin.
The John Size-trained Glorious Days finished second 12 months ago to Ambitious Dragon, beaten less than a length, and went one place better when powering home to cut down favourite Gold-Fun by three-quarters of a length. Packing Whiz was third, with Gordon Lord Byron fourth for Tom Hogan and William Buick.
Moonlight Cloud looked like she might pick up at the two furlong pole but did not show her trademark acceleration, while Richard Hughes on Sky Lantern was sending out the distress signals turning into the straight.
Moonlight Cloud, the winner of six Group One events, was sixth and is now set to be retired.
Freddy Head's mare raced further forward than usual, and owner George Strawbridge said: "She went way too freely, which was not the plan. We know that she barely gets the mile and our objective was to try to get her to relax. But she was doing the opposite and at the end she was pretty well spent when making her move.
"I think that will be it, she has been a wonderful servant and I am more than hopeful that she will prove just as good as a broodmare.
"Looking at her now, walking round after her race, she looks fantastic and I am very proud of what she has achieved."
Richard Hannon's Sky Lantern, winner of the 1000 Guineas, Coronation Stakes and Sun Chariot Stakes this season, will stay in training as a four-year-old. She finished last of the 14 runners after being eased.
Richard Hannon junior, who will take over the licence from his father next year, said: "Once her chance had gone, Hughesie was easy on her. She stays in training and I am sure there are more good days in front of her."
Hughes said: "It was all a bit of a mess up, because she was very keen and used herself too much in the early stages.
"I had a great position, the winner was behind me and Moonlight Cloud was in front of us, but when we turned in she was empty. I think she will have a long break and be trained for Royal Ascot."