Hong Kong Derby (2000m) runner-up Tuchel (Redwood x Trista Rossa) won Sunday’s HK$3.9 million Gr.3 Premier Plate Handicap (1800m) at Sha Tin.
Trainer John Size and jockey Zac Purton combined to win the final Group race of the Hong Kong season with the gelded son of Redwood on an afternoon which saw their inexorable march to further championship success continue apace.
Size has 71 wins for the season, nine clear of his nearest rival Franke Lor in the quest to win the trainer’s championship for a record 12th time, while Purton took his season tally to 160 with five winners on the card and he remains on target to break Joao Moreira’s record single season tally of 170 winners.
Tuchel began smartly and momentarily shared the pace with Packing Award before Purton opted to take the sit behind that rival while the Tony Cruz trained runner-up The Best Peach was much further astern, settling last in the field of the seven.
The Best Peach ran the quickest last 400 metres but the bird had flown and he could do no more than cut the winner’s margin to a half-length and the honours were with the 1.5 favourite.
“I think that (the slow pace) helped him as he’s a little suspect at the 1800m and today he had the weight advantage against the others and he’s got a good turn of foot so that played into our hands,” Purton said.
“He (Tuchel) has been terrific all season. He’s had some hard runs, he’s turned up and continues to get better and John (Size) has done a great job with him.”
Tuchel was bred and sold by Westbury Stud, and he is the sixth stakes winner this season for Westbury’s in-form stallion Redwood. That list also features the trans-Tasman Group One-winning Karaka graduate Sharp ‘N’ Smart, along with fellow big-race-winning Karaka purchases Platinum Invador, Antino and Solidify.
Tuchel was sold by Westbury Stud at the 2020 Karaka Book 2 sale for $130,000 to Simple Bloodstock Services, having caught the eye of noted judges Merrick Staunton and Bill Wong.
Also part of Purton’s five timer was New Zealand-bred three-year-old Greenwich, who led throughout from a wide draw to win a Class 4 over 1200m at his second start for trainer Pierre Ng, who sent out a trio of winners.
“He was impressive. He’s still very green at just his second run. We were hoping he’d improved a length or two on his first run. He’s still got a lot to learn and hopefully he will be a better horse next season,” Ng said of the youngster by War Decree.
A multiple trial winner in New Zealand for trainer Ben Foote, Greenwich was purchased for $225,000 by Upper Bloodstock at the 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale from the draft of Riversley Park.