04/29/2012 7:06AM

Hong Kong: Rulership outshines big-name horses in Audemars Piguet QEII Cup

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Rulership, a Japanese invader who never had finished better than fourth at the Group 1 level, easily captured the Group 1 Audemars Piguet QEII Cup on Sunday at Sha Tin in Hong Kong.

Ridden to victory by Umberto Rispoli, Rulership attended the pace of Hong Kong Derby winner Fay Fay while sticking close to the rail throughout the about 1 1/4-mile race. Fay Fay faded quickly when the field turned into the straight, as did pace-pressing Secretariat Stakes winner Treasure Beach, and Rulership quickly took up the running, going well clear in mid-straight and easily holding off all closers. He beat Thumbs up by almost four lengths, with Sweet Orange third.

Rulership, a 5-year-old by King Kamehameha, is trained by Katsuhiko Sumii and owned by Sunday Racing Co. Ltd.

None of the better known horses in the QEII Cup ran well Sunday. California Memory never unleashed his typical late run, checking in fifth. Treasure Beach fell back to ninth, while Fay Fay was 10th and Viscount Nelson a flat 12th.