05/07/2017 1:23PM

Contentment wins Champions Mile, Rapper Dragon suffers fatal injury


Contentment, a 25-1 outsider, won the second Group 1 of his career in Sunday’s $2,056,211 Champions Mile at Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong, a race marred by a fatal injury suffered by 2-5 favorite Rapper Dragon.

Rapper Dragon, who swept the Hong Kong Triple Crown for 4-year-olds earlier this year, was pulled up midway through the race with a pelvis fracture, according to Hong Kong officials.

“Rapper Dragon suffered a severe fracture of his pelvis which, unfortunately, was coupled with serious complications,” Hong Kong veterinarian Christopher Riggs said in a statement.

“Despite our intensive care in the equine hospital, we were unable to save him.”

Contentment, ridden by Brett Prebble, survived an objection from Zac Purton, the rider of second-place finisher Beauty Only, regarding the stretch run, but the order of finish was not changed.

Contentment won by a neck after racing near the lead throughout. He was passed by Helene Paragon in the last quarter-mile, and took the lead in the last 100 yards.

“The race didn’t go to plan,” Prebble said. “I was a little shuffled up around midrace, but that actually worked out well because he hasn’t had a bunny to chase for a while.

“When he got to the front, he was waiting again and looking. When Beauty Only came to him, he dug deep again. He’s a quirky horse, but he’s definitely got that performance there when he can give it to us.”

Contentment was timed in 1:35.23.
Beauty Only, a 5-2 chance, finished three-quarters of a length in front of 7-1 Helene Paragon.

A 6-year-old Australian-bred gelding by Hussonet, Contentment won the Group 1 Queen’s Jubilee Silver Cup in Hong Kong in February 2016. He was winless in his next 12 starts, all graded or group stakes in Hong Kong or Japan, before Sunday’s win. Contentment has won 10 of 29 starts.

Contentment is owned by Benson Lo Tak Wing and trained by John Size, who said the gelding will be considered for the Grade 1 Yasuda Kinen at a mile in Tokyo on June 4. Contentment was 12th in the 2016 Yasuda Kinen.

In Sunday’s Chairman’s Sprint Prize at six furlongs on turf, Lucky Bubbles prevailed by a neck over even-money Mr Stunning for his first Group 1 win.

Lucky Bubbles (5-2) was always near the front and took the lead in the final 100 yards. Not Listenin’tome finished third in the field of 10, which lost the veteran sprinter Aerovelocity to a vet scratch earlier on the weekend because of unsoundness.

Lucky Bubbles was ridden by Hugh Bowman and won for the eighth time in his 18-race career. A 5-year-old gelding by Sebring, Lucky Bubbles won once in Australia before arriving in Hong Kong two years ago.

Trained by the former jockey Francis Lui for the Lucky Syndicate, Lucky Bubbles was second in the 2016 Chairman’s Sprint Cup. He was later second in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint last December.

“It has been a tough year,” Lui said. “He’s tried so hard, but he’s been a little bit unlucky. He struck trouble in a couple of his runs, so he should have won one or two more.”

The 2017 Hong Kong Sprint in December is a long-range goal for Lucky Bubbles, Lui said.