The Magic Man Joao Moreira has given 2-time Sunshine Coast winner Ping Hai Star his first win in Hong Kong since the move mid 2017. John Size trained Ping Hai Star triumphed in incredible fashion over the weekend, missing the start badly before weaving through traffic to prevail in the Orchid Handicap over 1400m.
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The 4-year-old gelding by Nom Du Jeu was trialled 5 times at Sha Tin and Happy Valley before making his overseas debut, finishing runner up on the 11th of November over 1400 before getting an extra trip of 1600 in his next run. Ping Hai Star was a noted blackbooker after his run over 1400m however was again placed 2nd when started at 1600.
In his run prior to the weekend, Ping Hai Star undoubtedly lost some admirers when settling 1st to weaken and finish 8th of 14 on the 17th of December. A reverse in tactics however triggered success on Sunday with Moreira’s mount justifying the $2.80 starting price to overcome the fancied Zac Purton-ridden Simply Brilliant after a stellar performance by Purton earlier in the day.
Trainer John Size spoke of the win on Sunday however conceded his galloper was perhaps suited to a shorter distance and would not run in the 10 million dollar feature on January 21.
“He jumped to the left and for some reason, he wasn’t interested early – he just didn’t want to take part,” Size said.
“But then Joao has shaken him up, got him interested in the event and away he went. He looks like a sprinter on that, so I will think about where to go next but the Classic Mile isn’t likely.”
Ping Hai Star was renamed after being purchased by Zeng Shengli, racing under the name ‘Ted’ when trained in Queensland by Stuart Kendrick. Ted was a runner up at Doomben on debut in September 2016 before recording consecutive victories at the Sunshine Coast over 1200m and 1400m in February 2017.
Ping Hai Star now has 3 wins and 3 minor places from 7 starts, missing the dividends just once. He has amassed $118,888 thus far and his recent remarkable victory had catapulted him into Sha Tin racing’s highlight reel, accompanied by cult Hero Pakistan Star and noted come-from-behind runner Exultant.