Dan Excel (near) gets the better of Helene Spirit close home at Sha TinPICTURE: Hong Kong Jockey Club
Dan Excel on top in Mile with Penitent unplaced
Report: Hong Kong, Sunday
Sha Tin: Champions Mile (Group 1) 3yo+, turf
DAN EXCEL, formerly known as Dunboyne Express when trained in Ireland by Kevin Prendergast, claimed the final international Group 1 race of Hong Kong's season, with British raider Penitent finishing out of the places.
Trained by John Moore, who was winning the race for a fourth time in a row - and fifth in total - after successes with Able One (2007 and 2010) and Xtension (2011 and 2012), Dan Excel came off the rail turning for home before overhauling longtime leader Helene Spirit close to the line.
Penitent was slowly away and travelled wide off the bend but kept on up the home straight on a surface faster than ideal to finish seventh for trainer David O'Meara and jockey Danny Tudhope.
Nick Bradley, spokesman for Penitent's owners Middleham Park, tweeted: "Chuffed with Penitent there, just needed a bit of luck from the stalls and in running and he'd have got among them."
Dunboyne Express, a dual Group 3 winner in Ireland, was renamed Dan Excel after being sold to race in the Far East two years ago. He enjoyed the perfect tow into the race as he tracked the front-running Helene Spirit and the front pair kicked on to fight out the finish.
Winning jockey Weichong Marwing said: "It was a great win. He dug deep. It was his moment today and I am happy I could share it with him. For others the pace might have been too slow but for me it was perfect."