Monday, 18 June 2012
: Aashiq showed for the second time this season that he is a force to be reckoned with in high-class company with an all-the-way victory the G3 Premier Cup, Hong Kong's final Group race of the season, at Sha Tin on Sunday.
| Paul O'Sullivan|
Photo by Racing and Sports
Paul O'Sullivan's charge won the G3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup over 1400m in January and was on the mark once again under in Sunday's classy contest.
Jockey Mark Du Plessis kicked the six-year-old to the lead at the break and he was never headed.
Recent G1 Champions Mile victor Xtension was beaten a long way out under the top-weight on the good-to-yielding surface, and it was left to the David Ferraris-trained Hong Kong Classic Mile winner Sweet Orange to lead the chasing pack.
But any pursuit was in vain as Aashiq drove resolutely for the wire for a length and a quarter victory from Sweet Orange with the Derek Cruz-trained Flying Blue a further short-head third.
“He's had his problems with heart irregularities but today was certainly a career highlight for the horse,” said O'Sullivan.
“If he comes in on set weights in a Group 1 he's not going to beat these horses but it was a handicap and they were giving him a lot of weight. He was given his own way in front and he was perfectly ridden by Mark.
“He was able to dictate the race; they left him alone in front, and although he doesn't quicken a lot, he has a very high cruising speed and a lot of heart.”