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Win Bright storms to victory in Queen Elizabeth II Cup

AFP-JIJI

Japan’s Win Bright clinched the Queen Elizabeth II Cup for jockey Masami Matsuoka in Hong Kong Sunday, the highlight of three Group One spring races with a total purse of HK$58 million ($7.4 million).

The five-year-old grey stormed to victory in the final stretch and finished the 2,000-meter course in 1 minute and 58.81 seconds.

“He didn’t jump well from the gate but he gets a good spot. He ran very well all the way around … This is the very best day for me,” Matsuoka said of Win Bright.

The Queen Elizabeth II Cup is one of the city’s richest races with total prize money of HK$24 million.

Australian jockey Zac Purton finished second on Exultant, while Irish jockey Oisin Murphy rode Lys Gracieux to finish third.

Brazilian Joao Moreira rode five-year-old gelding Beat The Clock to triumph in the 1,200-meter Chairman’s Sprint race, surging from a relatively slow start to seal victory.

“I was extremely happy. I would say the race actually went perfect for him… He was dashing home and made it very hard but fortunately we have a very brave horse. He tries his best and once again he’s done it,” Moreira said.

Purton also snapped up the 1,600-meter Champions Mile on six-year-old Beauty Generation, dominating the race from start to finish.

The pair of superstars won the same race last year.

“When he’s out in front like that mid-race and there’s nothing around pushing him, he just floats a little bit so my job was to try to keep him rolling a little bit and let him do the rest,” Purton said of Beauty Generation.

“It’s hard to say how much more he’s got there but he did his job and that’s all you can do,” he added.