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Huge bonus beckons Kiwi duo

Aerovelocity wins the Gr.1 KrisFlyer International Sprint at Kranji, Singapore
Aerovelocity wins the Gr.1 KrisFlyer International Sprint at Kranji, Singapore

Paul O'Sullivan will stick close to home with Aerovelocity in their bid for a massive pay-day.

The Hong Kong-based expatriate New Zealand trainer has bagged two legs in the Global Sprint Challenge with his Kiwi-bred stable star, with a $US1 million bonus on the line for any horse to claim three wins in the series.

Aerovelocity is two-thirds of the way there after he added Sunday night's Gr.1 KrisFlyer International Sprint at Kranji, Singapore, to his Gr.1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen title won in Japan in March.

O'Sullivan has ruled out further travel to Europe or Australia in the race for the bonus.

"No chance - we'll keep him in Asia," he said. "I wouldn't rule out the Sprinters Stakes, but we've got to sit down and talk about it. I'm sure we'll focus on the Hong Kong Sprint in December, but I don't want to preempt, I'll have to sit down with the owners and talk about it.

"He's the ultimate racehorse – he's tough. I'm not saying he should be Horse of the Year, but when was the last time a horse from Hong Kong won three international Group One races in three different countries?"

Aerovelocity is the regular mount of Zac Purton, who lavished praise on the Pins gelding and O'Sullivan's conditioning skills.

"He's been a special horse," he said. "You don't ride too many horses of the calibre of this guy. He just gives 100 percent every time he races, even in defeat. He's the most courageous horse I've ever ridden.

"Paul's done a great job handling the horse and all credit has to go to him and his stable. He's an exceptional horseman."

O'Sullivan bought Aerovelocity, a son of Pins and the Kaapstad mare Exodus, out of Windsor Park Stud's Premier Sale draft to Karaka in 2010 for $120,000.

His front-running victory in the KrisFlyer completed a memorable Group One international double for New Zealand-breds following the Singapore Guineas triumph on Friday night of the Chequers Stud graduate Affleck, a son of the Cambridge farm's stallion Battle Paint.


- NZ Racing Desk