racing returned to Sha Tin on Monday with the National Day Cup HK Gr 3 over
1400 metres going to Redoute's Choice gelding Packing OK, a $480,000 Magic
Millions purchase for Magus Equine from the draft of Widden Stud.
The John Moore trained six year-old was a stakes-winner last season when taking out the Centenary Vase HK Gr 3 and has obviously returned in great order for the new season.
Packing OK (pictured HKJC) enjoyed a good run in transit from barrier one and surged home to win by a length and a half, springing somewhat of a surprise as he was the least fancied of four runners in the race for Moore.
"We won and that's the main thing – I'm just a bit surprised at which one!" said Moore.
"The only thing I can say is that he had won over 1400m earlier in his career and he had trialled well coming into the race. Doleuze (Olivier) was actually quietly confident that he would run very well today. Drawing the gun gate on that course made the difference and Aashiq gave him a very good tow into the race.
"That he clocked 1m 20.71s is actually surprising because that's a very slick time. When Doleuze got off, he said the horse might prefer the mile. The target was going to be the Sa Sa Ladies' Purse, but he may well go up too much in the weights for that now, so we will talk to the owner and decide whether to aim at the mile on the 28th (HKG2 Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy).
"I always thought he was a horse that was a little bit better over a bit more ground, but I think freshness was the key today – that and the one gate."
Bred by Teeley Assets, Packing OK is by champion sire Redoute's Choice from Tasmanian Oaks winner Abbadena and has the overall record of six wins and seven placings from just 20 starts.