Loves Only You became first Japanese-trainer winner at the Breeders' Cup last month and followed up for trainer Yoshito Yahagi in Hong Kong Cup; William Haggas-trained Dubai Honour finishes well for fourth
Sunday 12 December 2021 10:10, UK
Loves Only You supplemented her Breeders' Cup success with victory in the Longines Hong Kong Cup on Sunday.
The five-year-old broke new ground for her handler Yoshito Yahagi as she became the first Japanese-trained winner at the American showpiece when landing the Filly & Mare Turf at Del Mar last month and she took another big-race crown at Sha Tin.
There was plenty of European interest in the 10-furlong contest, with Aidan O'Brien's Bolshoi Ballet and the Jim Bolger-trained Mac Swiney prominent in the early exchanges but both were back pedalling in the straight as Russian Emperor went for home.
Another Japanese raider Hishi Iguazu then launched his challenge as Yuga Kawada really got to work on Loves Only You, with the mare responding in fine style to just edge out her compatriot at the line on what is expected to be her final start.
The William Haggas-trained Dubai Honour finished with a flourish, but fell just short of third place for Tom Marquand.
Pyledriver had to settle for second as Glory Vase swooped late to land the Longines Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin.
The William Muir and Chris Grassick-trained Pyledriver was having just his fourth start of the year, with the Coronation Cup victor having suffered a setback in July that sidelined him until last month, when he warmed up for this assignment with a Lingfield Listed win.
He was well-fancied to claim a second Group One victory in this 12-furlong heat and he travelled well throughout for Martin Dwyer as Reliable Team and Stay Foolish set the early gallop.
Dwyer was happy to settle back in third before closing the gap turning for home and unleashing Pyledriver's run down the straight.
French runner Ebaiyra tried to go with him but Pyledriver had her measure, however, Glory Vase, who had raced at the back of the field through the early stages, was just getting rolling and he finished with a flourish down the middle of the track.
He grabbed the lead inside the final furlong and Glory Vase came home clear for jockey Joao Moreira and trainer Tomohito Ozeki, adding to his success in the race in 2019.
Ebaiyra kept on for third with Aidan O'Brien's Mogul out of the frame in his title defence.