11/20/2016 2:04PM

Not Listenin’tome scores 43-1 surprise in Jockey Club Sprint


All the favorites faltered in Sunday's major races at Sha Tin in Hong Kong, with Not Listenin’tome scoring the biggest surprise of the card, a 43-1 upset of the Group 2 BOCHK Jockey Club Sprint.

Not Listenin’tome got a great trip under Hugh Bowman tracking Peniaphobia and Dashing Fellow from third, making the lead a furlong from the finish. He held clear Lucky Bubbles, who rallied from third-to-last in a field of 10, and won by a half-length. Aerovelocity, who raced just behind the winner, finished third, with 2015 Hong Kong Horse of the Year Able Friend fourth in his first start in nearly a year.

Not Listenin’tome was the longest price among three John Moore-trained runners in the Sprint, contested over 1,200 meters around a right-handed bend, and this was a career-best win for a 6-year-old whose top form had come over 1,000 meters on a straightaway.

Not Listenin’tome, who was imported from Australia and is by Dylan Thomas, covered the distance on good ground in 1:08.26, including a moderate final 400 meters in 22.63 seconds. He’ll be a longshot again Dec. 11 in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint.

Able Friend, meanwhile, got positive reviews from Moore and jockey Tommy Berry, who said the massive gelding ran out of steam in the final furlong. Moore said a decision had not been made on whether Able Friend goes in the Hong Kong Sprint or stretches to 1,600 meters, his preferred trip, in the Hong Kong Mile.

Secret Weapon, meanwhile, probably was the card’s most impressive winner in capturing the Group 2 Jockey Club Cup by 1 1/2 lengths over Flame Hero. Trained by Dennis Yip and guided to victory by Nash Rawiller, Secret Weapon raced seventh along the rail for much of the 2,000-meter race. He came out for his run with a little more than a quarter-mile left, was briefly shuffled to last, but finished explosively between horses to win going away. A 7-1 chance, Secret Weapon clocked a fast 2:00.92 while getting his final 800 meters in 45.30 seconds.

“He was very strong today, and you’d still expect there to be some improvement for International day,” Rawiller said.

Secret Weapon, a 6-year-old import from England by Choisir, is likely to contest the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup over the same distance on Dec. 11.

Flame Hero also came from the rear of the field to finish second, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Military Attack. Designs on Rome, the tepid favorite, raced with little energy and finished last.

Beauty Only, at a little less than 7-2, was the shortest-priced winner among the important races Sunday, rallying from eighth on the far outside to beat Romantic Touch by a nose, with Sun Jewellery third by the same margin in the Group 2 BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Mile. Trainer Tony Cruz took down the first two placings, with Romantic Touch nearly home at odds of 97-1. Zac Purton rode the winner, a 5-year-old Holy Roman Emperor gelding imported from Ireland who was timed in 133.79 over 1,600 meters.

Finally, Pakistan Star, the exciting 3-year-old with the Silky Sullivan last-to-first style, took his second straight defeat after starting his Hong Kong career with two wins, although he ran well in defeat. Bottled up and in tight much of the 1,600 meters, he came between horses and delivered another powerful final 400 meters while unable to catch Simply Invincible, who got first run off a clear stalking trip and had an open-lengths lead with a furlong left to race.