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Aerovelocity wins Hong Kong Sprint

Australia’s two representatives have finished out of the placings in the Hong Kong Sprint won by eight-year-old Aerovelocity, winner of the race two years ago.

Takedown finished sixth while Rebel Dane was 11th at Sha Tin on Sunday.

There was still an Australasian flavour to the 1200m-race with the winner trained by expat New Zealander Paul O’Sullivan and ridden by Hong Kong-based Australian Zac Purton.

“It’s a good feeling,” Purton said.

“He gives everything he’s got. I had a lovely run and he ambled up. He’s all heart.”

Aerovelocity beat Lucky Bubbles by a short head with last year’s winner Peniaphobia, who led for much of the race, three-quarters of a length third.

Earlier the much-travelled Highland Reel had to settle for second as Japanese horse Satono Crown caught him just strides from the line in the Longines Hong Kong Vase (2400m).

Aidan O’Brien’s charge was attempting to repeat his victory of last year and Ryan Moore was positive from the start, establishing a definite lead passing the post for the first time.

Moore appeared to have the field covered only for Satono Crown to unleash a telling late charge under Joao Moreira.

The Noriyuki Hori-trained colt passed Highland Reel in the shadow of the post, winning by half a length with more than six lengths to the French runner One Foot In Heaven.

“I thought I had a big chance before the race, and it worked out,” Moreira said.

New Zealander Benzini, the Brisbane Cup winner, finished sixth.

“We didn’t get away too well and he pulled a bit hard but he kept trying so I really enjoyed the experience,” Benzini’s jockey Rosie Myers said.

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