Hong Kong Captain gave trainer David Hayes and his staff something to celebrate with a first-up victory at Mornington on Wednesday.
A son of Swettenham Stud sire Host (Chi), he won the Peninsula Home Hospice Maiden (1200m) while Lindsay Park was surrounded by bushfires. “The mountains around the property were ablaze and when the winds shifted we retreated and just let the horses run free,” Hayes reported from Euroa. “Our fire plan worked and there were no injuries. We were very lucky.”
Hayes has high hopes for Hong Kong Captain and will set him for the G3 Manfred Stakes (1300m) at Sandown and G3 C S Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington in the New Year. All going well, he will then head north for the G1 Randwick Guineas and G1 Rosehill Guineas in March.
Hong Kong Captain (3g Host – Unlimited Passage by Giant’s Causeway) won by a length eased down on debut. “He did everything right and I think he’s going to make a really nice stayer,” jockey Michael Walker said. “I can’t see why he won’t be able to run 2400 metres – all he needs is to mature a bit more.”
An $85,000 graduate of the Swettenham Stud draft at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier, he is part-owned by Hong Kong trainer David Hall and former St Kilda footballers Stewart Loewe and Danny Frawley.
Hong Kong Captain hails from a Swettenham family going back several generations to Group 1 winning filly Pure Of Heart. An Irish-bred daughter of Godswalk, she won the 1982 George Ryder Stakes for Robert Sangster.
Swettenham has catalogued his Equiano half-sister as Lot 770 for the Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale in March. Their dam Unlimited Passage died a few days after foaling an Equiano colt in October.