Final Answer (white and red) and London China Town (blue) at Sha TinPICTURE: HKJC
AW sprinters can't be separated at Sha Tin
Report: Hong Kong, Sunday
FINAL ANSWER and London China Town dead-heated in the GOME Cup to leave honours shared between trainer John Moore and his former assistant Manfred Man in one of the best quality dirt sprints Hong Kong punters will witness this season.
Of the pair, British import Final Answer (Darren Beadman) - a winner for Ed McMahon at Sandown under the same name on his only UK start in July 2009 - has more scope to progress through the ranks.
However, few would begrudge the connections of London China Town (Douglas Whyte) a good chunk of the pie after several game and luckless efforts in defeat this term.
A terrific spectacle the 6f handicap was, but it should be added the result might have been different had Dynamic Blitz, the territory's best sprinter on thesurface for some time, been permitted to take his chance.
For convoluted reasons of line-up selection by the HKJC, the joint-highest rated contender in the race was among the reserve starters and in his stable whilst the action unfolded just a few hundred metres away.
His absence was an inexcusable folly - and costly in terms of the betting turnover his presence would have generated.
If bookies were allowed in Hong Kong and were Fred Done among them, he'd be thinking about paying out early on Douglas Whyte winning yet another jockeys' title after the Durban Demon left the course with three wins after favourites Rich Unicorn and Paganini's Soul, both for trainer John Size, obliged either side of his split decision in the feature.
Douglas Whyte: rode a treblePICTURE: HKJC
Whyte's great rival Brett Prebble returns to action on Wednesday after eight days out because of a careless riding charge in December, but the Australian faces a colossal task if he is to regain the initiative with the South African 17 winners in front.
Even with well over half of the season to play, it seems only injury can prevent Whyte another from an 11th consecutive jockeys' title.
King Al Akbar (Moore/Beadman) became the most prolific winner of the season when again proving too strong in the Class 3 7f test to record his fifth victory from six starts since October - and it would not surprise if he were to add to the tally in Class 2 the next time he surfaces.
But themost significant result of the day happened elsewhere for one popular Kiwi.
Having endured a most frustrating season to date, trainer Paul O'Sullivan doubled his tally for the campaign to two when his bright prospect Finezza (Zac Purton) came with a late run to defy Sean Woods' 80-1 rank outsider Dreams Maker in the Class 4 event over 7f.
O'Sullivan has always been in the upper tier of trainers since his decamping to Hong Kong in 2004 from New Zealand where he was a championship winner 11 times, so the relative fallowness of his 2010-11 season has been anomalous to say the least.
Gerald Mosse: among the winnersPICTURE: Mark Cranham
Perhaps now he is close to turning the corner and he can at least look forward to more success with Finezza in the future.
Prior, the first two races on the ten-event card were laden with new horses and two debutants fought out the opener with Gift Is Gift (Almond Lee/Gerald Mosse) justified a strong betting move to gain a nose verdict from I Smell Money from the John Size stable. Both horses should win their share of races in time.
The second contest a Class 4 over the minimum trip went to the lightly-raced The Prince (Caspar Fownes) with Howard Cheng a late replacement for stable apprentice VincentHo.