A Befitting Send Off For Passionate Owner Kondo, With Hong Kong Mile Win
Review: Gr.1 Hong Kong Mile Win
Admire Mars under Christophe Soumillon flew the Japanese Thoroughbred industry flag, as he won the Gr.1 Hong Kong Mile beating the three-peat seeking Beauty Generation who cruised to the lead at the 400-metre mark before watching Soumillon surge to victory, as his own engine ran out steam under Zac Purton. Waikuku followed the son of Daiwa Major from the Sunday Silence line to win in second position.
Admire Mars, under sustained pressure from his Belgian-born pilot down the home straight, poked his chestnut head in front with only 100m remaining and passed the line half a length clear of the advancing Waikuku and Joao Moreira.
The winner carries the recognisable blue and white silks of Riichi Kondo, one of Japan’s most significant owners, who died only a few weeks ago. His widow attended the presentation ceremony, although the horse was still registered under her late husband’s name, and trainer Yasuo Tomomichi, who was wearing the livery of the owner in his suit and tie, was also holding back the tears.
Soumillon said: “He was probably one of the biggest private owners in the Japanese racing industry, he was somebody very famous who loved horses.
“We could see his colours from a long time ago, they won nearly everywhere. We had the bad news a few weeks ago so I’m really proud and happy to take these colours so high today.”