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Werther Wins Gr1 Hong Kong Gold Cup
At Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong, Cambridge Stud's dual Gr1-winning stallion Tavistock (Montjeu-Upstage, by Quest For Fame) celebrated an elite success when 5YO New Zealand-bred gelding Werther (Tavistock-Bagalollies, by Zabeel) scored by a short head for trainer John Moore and jockey Hugh Bowman in the HK$10 million Gr1 Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m), over 8YO UK-bred gelding Blazing Speed (Dylan Thomas-Leukippids, by Sadler's Wells) & 6YO UK-bred gelding Secret Weapon (Choisir-Just Devine, by Montjeu). Werther boosted his record to 8 wins (including the Gr1 Hong Kong Derby & Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup) and 9 placings (including the Gr1 South Australian Derby & Gr1 Queensland Derby) from 21 starts for $6,431,626 earnings. Werther, who had missed the early part of this season due to a right hind suspensory injury, was having his first start since returning with a sixth placing in the Gr1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) on 30 January. Trainer John Moore confirmed Werther will now be aimed at the US$6 million Gr1 Dubai Turf (1800m) on 25 March. "I always thought he’d come back to his best, I was more worried about his quirkiness than his injury,” Moore said. “Winning the QEII like he did, it put him top five in the planet on turf, so we know that we’ve got a very special horse, but it took something else for him to win today." Moore added: "If he goes to Dubai he’d have to be a legitimate chance, regardless of the field." Jockey Hugh Bowman said: “I don’t get too carried away with international ratings because it’s hard to assess, but I don’t think there’s any doubt he’s in the top 10 horses in the world on turf, this horse."