Aashiq (NZ) Secures Second HK Stakes Victory
The Karaka graduate Aashiq (NZ) secured his second stakes victory of the season last night, beating some of Hong Kong's top performers in the HK-3 Premier Cup (1400m) at Sha Tin.
Ridden in the feature by former NZ-based jockey Mark Du Plessis, Aashiq (Viking Ruler x Join The Fun) lead all the way in the 1400 metre contest, holding his rivals comfortably in the straight to win by a length and a quarter.
"He has had his problems with heart irregularities but today was certainly a career highlight for the horse," said his trainer Paul O'Sullivan.
"If he comes in on set weights in a Group 1 he's not going to beat these horses but it was a handicap and they were giving him a lot of weight. He was given his own way in front and he was perfectly ridden by Mark."
Aashiq won the HK-3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup over the same course and distance on New Year's Day and came into last night's race after a tough run in the HK-1 Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) behind Lucky Nine (Dubawi).
Bred by Mr K Potter, Aashiq was purchased by Lance O'Sullivan from Brighthill Farm at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2007 Carnival Sale for $40,000.
The six-year-old has now won five of his 24 starts, placing in a further seven, for over $940,000 in stakes.
Viking Ruler (Danehill) - sire of Group 1 winners Red Ruler, Court Ruler, and Group 2 winner Kroner - was formerly based at Sir Patrick Hogan's Cambridge Stud but did not return to stud duties there for the 2010 season. He has since taken up residence at Mornmoot Stud in Victoria.