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Vital King Wins Gr1 HK Derby

Monday, 19th March 2007

In Hong Kong yesterday, former NZ Haunui Farm shuttler & 1999 Gr1 Dubai World Cup winner Almutawakel (Machiavellian-Elfaslah, by Green Desert) added a Gr1 triumph when Vital King (Almutawakel-Wauwinet, by Bassenthwaite) grabbed victory by a nose in the HK$16 million (A$2.6m) Gr1 Hong Kong Derby (2000m) for 4YOs at Sha Tin. Vital King (ridden by Australian jockey Brett Prebble for Kiwi trainer Paul O'Sullivan) defeated Australian-bred Gr1-winning favourite Floral Pegasus (Fusaichi Pegasus-Crown Crest, by Mill Reef) & Champions Gallery (Dansili-Pure, by Slip Anchor). Vital King (a NZ$38,000 yearling at the 2004 NZ Bloodstock Select Sale) had powered home for 4th in last month's Gr2 Derby Trial (1800m) behind Floral Pegasus & before that won a Class 2 event over 1800m. Before transferring to HK, Vital King raced 5 times under the name Izzat in NZ for 2 wins & 2 placings (including 3rd in the Gr1 Levin Classic); in HK he has added 2 wins & a placing from 7 starts to take his overall record to 4 wins & 3 placings from 12 starts for HK$10.2 million (A$1.7m).

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