Hong Kong racing has another superstar racehorse – Aethero.
Trained by John Moore, Aethero is a two-year-old younger half-brother to Classique Legend that won two ‘Griffin’ races before facing older horses at mid-tier Class 3 level over 1200 metres at Sha Tin on Monday.
Aethero ($1.60 favourite) jumped from the outside barrier of 14 with Zac Purton riding him urgently to find the rail first. Once in the lead, Purton didn’t apply any significant pressure to Aethero who was never headed yet still carved out blistering sectionals.
Aethero cruised through the 800 to 400 metres in 22.22 seconds with his final 400 metres in 22.73 seconds, establishing a new class record of 1:08.32 in the process.
“He looks decent, doesn’t he? He did the job today in the fashion that I thought he would,” Moore told the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
“He has the makings of one of Hong Kong’s top sprinters, the way he went there.
“I know he didn’t beat very much but he’s only a two-year-old, he’s in open company so to do it as comfortably as that is really pleasing.”
Aethero won’t be seen again till next season with just four meetings remaining during 2018/19 in Hong Kong and Moore eager to see the Sebring gelding develop.
“Three runs next season to get him into the 100-range before we get to the Hong Kong Sprint, that would be the ultimate target,” Moore said.
“I’m getting ahead of myself a bit but I believe he’s definitely the sort of horse that could be the likely type to make it.”
Aethero was purchased for $575,000 from the 2018 Inglis Australian Easter yearling sale.
Monday’s 10-race meeting proved successful as Moore won three races, all ridden by Purton who also steered the Caspar Fownes-trained Winning Delight ($51) to victory in the final race.
Winning Delight was racing in Hong Kong for the first time, he was formerly trained by Darren Weir and raced under the name Subraise.
Moore is three wins behind Hong Kong’s premiership leader John Size while Purton has ridden 156 winners for the season, just 14 wins shy of Joao Moreira’s season record of 170.