Xtension turns around Meydan form with Cityscape in Sha Tin Group 1PICTURE: Hong Kong Jockey Club
Xtension bags second Champions Mile in a row
Report: Hong Kong, Sunday
Sha Tin: BMW Champions Mile (Group 1) 1m, turf, 3yo+
XTENSION (John Moore/James McDonald) won the BMW Champions Mile for the second consecutive year and proved yet again how difficult it is to beat Hong Kong-trained horses on their home turf over 1m.
Sha Tin-based runners filled the first five places with Glorious Days beaten half a length in second.
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint winner Lucky Nine was third, Ambitious Dragon fourth and theveteran Able One fifth.
Hong Kong milers are now undefeated at this distance at Sha Tin since 2005 when Hat Trick won the CXHK Mile for Japan at December's international meeting.
The local grip on the BMW Champions Mile has been even more vice-like with Sha Tin's finest responsible for 22 of the 24 first three placings since it was opened to international competition in 2005.
Godolphin's African Story, fared best of the four overseas challengers in sixth under Silvestre de Sousa. Musir ran seventh for Mike de Kock.
British hope Cityscape, sent off favourite, was barely recognisable from the horse that ran away with the Dubai Duty Free so comprehensively in March.
He was never better than midfield, trailing home in tenth place. Trainer Roger Charlton said: "He was slow to begin, which had us on the back foot from the word go and that's unusual for him - to miss the break.
Roger Charlton: disappointedPICTURE: Mark Cranham
"From where he was, he had little chance in a slowly run race but I have to admit there was no real kick from him. He may also have felt the ground a little bit."
Winning trainer John Moore praised James McDonald's ride on Xtension.
"After coming back from Dubai [when he finished nearly six lengths behind Cityscape] there were a few shortcomings here and there because he lost weight. But the way James rode him was the best ride you've ever seen," Moore enthused.
"If he's okay, we'll try and go to Singapore for the big 2000m race there [the SIA Cup on May 20] and James will be asked to ride him again. After that, we'll make a decision whether to go on to Royal Ascot for the Prince of Wales's Stakes."
From stall eight, McDondald had Xtension on the heels of the pace-setting Able One after only a furlong and in the perfect position to pounce in the straight.
"The pace was slow in behind John's other runner and even though we got held up a little bit he fought really hard," McDonald said.
Trainer John Size indicated that Glorious Days might travel to Tokyo for the Yasuda Kinen at the start of June when he might also be joined by Lucky Nine from the Caspar Fownes team.
It could be that a victory on foreign soil might be enough to sway the judging panel when it comes to deciding the Horse of the Year at the end of the season as no Hong Kong thoroughbred has dominated the major honours during 2011-12.
Ambitious Dragon, along with Lucky Nine is the only horse in Hong Kong with two Group 1 triumphs in the bag this term, could not land the killer blow to further influence that outcome having raced from behind midfield under Douglas Whyte.
Also on Sunday
Queen Mother Memorial Cup (Group 3 handicap) 1m4f, turf, 3yo+
Moore landed the day's other big prize with another ex-British-trained horse when Dominant (Douglas Whyte) justified favouritism in the Queen Mother Memorial Cup.
He won for Michael Jarvis and Roger Varian before being sold to Hong Kong last summer.