03/14/2005 1:00AM

Vengeance of Rain sharp in win

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Vengeance of Rain signaled to the world that he is ready to take on international competition with an emphatic victory in Sunday's $1.79 million Group 1 Hong Kong Derby at Sha Tin.

A 4-year-old son of Zabeel, Vengeance of Rain won with a strong late run under Anthony Delpech. The 2-1 favorite, he won going away by 2 3/4 lengths over Russian Pearl, with Sambuca a half-length back in third. The winning time for the 1 1/4 miles on a good to yielding turf course was 2:04.70.

David Ferraris, a former champion trainer in South Africa, said that Vengeance of Rain is "probably the best" he has ever trained. The next assignment for Vengeance of Rain is likely to come on April 24 over the Hong Kong Derby course and distance in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup, the first leg of the World Series Racing Championship.