Vase glory for Win Marilyn and Damian Lane
Win Marilyn has delivered Damian Lane a first Hong Kong International Raceday success with the Japanese raider charging home to win the G1 Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin.
Win Marilyn became the fourth Japanese winner of the Hong Kong Vase in the past seven editions, with an authoritative success for trainer Takahisa Tezuka and jockey Damian Lane in the 2400-metre feature.
After a dramatic start to the race which saw German visitor Mendocino remain in the barriers when the gates opened, local chance Senor Toba controlled the tempo throughout. He led Godolphin’s Botanik in the run with the well-supported Stone Age seemingly getting an ideal run back on the rail.
But when Senor Toba upped the pressure approaching the turn, only Botanik was able to respond, with Stone Age’s challenge quickly evaporating.
No sooner had Botanik wrested the lead, Glory Vase, seeking his third win in the race, loomed to challenge. Then Lane and Win Marilyn got to the very outside and while Botanik and William Buick tried to respond, they could not withstand the late surge from the Japanese-trained horse, who ran away to win by 1.5 lengths.
Botanik finished 1.75 lengths ahead of Glory Vase to claim second, while the locally trained Panfield performed above expectations to finish fourth.
It was a breakthrough success at the elite level for Hong Kong for Lane and a 27th Group 1 overall.
“It’s very special to win a Group 1 here in Hong Kong. I’ve been here on numerous occasions and haven’t been able to break through, so to do it is a great relief, and to do it with the Japanese is really special,” he said.
“She’s just the ultimate professional this horse, she jumps well and she travels sweetly and when the pace was on, I was happy to take a sit.
“I just knew with the turn of foot at her last run that she would be really suited up to this trip today.”