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Champions and Charter Cup: Charlie Appleby breaks Hong Kong duck with Godolphin's Rebel's Romance

Rebel's Romance became the first British-trained Group One winner in Hong Kong since 2012, when Red Cadeaux triumphed in the Hong Kong Vase. It was Charlie Appleby's first winner in the country, the ninth he has trained a Group One in.

Charlie Appleby
Image: Charlie Appleby

Rebel's Romance provided Charlie Appleby with a first winner in Hong Kong when claiming the Group One Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup at Sha Tin.

The globetrotting six-year-old had previously prevailed in England, the UAE, Germany, America and Qatar, most recently landing the Dubai Sheema Classic.

This was his fifth triumph at elite level and a 13th career victory overall from 19 starts.

Racing over a mile and a half, William Buick settled odds-on favourite Rebel's Romance in second place behind Moments In time but made a forward move on the turn for home and forged ahead with 300 metres left to run.

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The result was never in doubt from there on and the son of Dubawi finished two lengths clear of late-surging runner-up Five G Patch.

Blue Point was Appleby's only previous runner in Hong Kong when finishing last in the 2018 Chairman's Sprint Prize.

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"I'm delighted and firstly I'd like to thank the Hong Kong Jockey Club for all their help and support since we've been here," said the Moulton Paddocks handler.

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"I'm delighted for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and Team Godolphin. It's always been on our bucket list to try and win a race in Hong Kong and I'm just delighted we had the right horse.

"He managed to win the UAE Derby as a three-year-old, but he's a big frame of a horse and unfortunately he went very weak.

"Since he's been back on turf, we've not looked back. He obviously had a bit of a chequered year last year, in our preparation for the Sword Dancer he had a little mishap (unseated rider) and it just took him a while to get his confidence back.

"He's a gelded son of Dubawi and loves his travels. He's a professional now and prefers being on a plane rather than in his stable!"

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