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Chancheng Glory, Ensued chase American-bred BMW Hong Kong Derby win

March 20, 2024 at 7:48:56 AM

Chancheng Glory and Ensued are chanced with becoming the first American-bred winner of the HK$26 million 147th BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) at Sha Tin on Sunday afternoon (24 March), at least dating back to when Hong Kong racing’s professional era commenced in 1971/72.

Chancheng Glory and Ensued are chanced with becoming the first American-bred winner of the HK$26 million 147th BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) at Sha Tin on Sunday afternoon (24 March), at least dating back to when Hong Kong racing’s professional era commenced in 1971/72.

Ryan Moore hops aboard Ensued for trainer John Size, while William Buick is set to partner Chancheng Glory for trainer Francis Lui, the latter almost pinched the HK$13 million Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) last start before he was caught late by Helios Express – victor of the HK$13 million Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m), too.

Bred in the American state of Iowa, Chancheng Glory is owned in Hong Kong by the Chancheng Racing Syndicate, who have raced two horses in the city under this ownership name – both American-bred – for 12 wins in total.

“One of the owners, I think one of his family members is in America and he does the bloodstock. These few years they’ve been buying American horses – they can all win,” Lui said.

Chancheng Glory rattled off four straight wins earlier this season after scoring on debut in 2023, while their initial horse, Chancheng Prince, is a seven-time winner in Hong Kong.

Chancheng Glory rises to 2000m for the first time this weekend.

“He ran well in the Hong Kong Classic Cup. I think longer distances suit him more. It’s more suitable because he’s quite even, he’s a front-runner, but normally I don’t think many front-runners win the Derby,” he said.

Chancheng Glory is a son of Mor Spirit, while Ensued is by Lemon Drop Kid – winner of the 1999 G1 Belmont Stakes (2400m, dirt) at Belmont Park in New York.

“Of course, I don’t want an outside barrier, even drawing barriers six, seven or eight is ok. I think there is more improvement in him as his condition has improved every time,” Lui said.

Ensued arrived in Hong Kong after three winless outings in Great Britain. The bay has a trio of wins in Hong Kong, twice over the BMW Hong Kong Derby distance.

“It’s a tough race. Especially with Dennis Yip’s horse (Massive Sovereign). He won his first race over 2000 metres, you need to respect him. Also, Pierre Ng, he’s put the top-rating horse (Galaxy Patch) in the race – he is a good horse,” Lui said.

Lui also saddles Speed Dragon in the BMW Hong Kong Derby. Meanwhile, Golden Sixty took part in another gallop on Sha Tin’s dirt course yesterday (Tuesday, 19 March).

“He’s ok. We just keep working him and we will continue to monitor him as he goes along. I think next week he will hop on the grass and then have a barrier trial. It’s step-by-step,” Lui said.

The handler is targeting the HK$22 million G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m), run on 28 April at Sha Tin, a race which Hong Kong’s champion galloper has won three times (2021, 2022 & 2023).

Lui prevailed in the 2020 BMW Hong Kong Derby with Golden Sixty, his only winner in the city’s most-famed and storied contest.

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