Hong Kong is a prized export market for the New Zealand thoroughbred industry, and the progeny of Valachi Downs stallion Zacinto (GB) are proving themselves to be ideal candidates to race on that lucrative stage.
From just seven runners in Hong Kong to date, Zacinto has made a strong start with five winners. Between them, those five horses have amassed a total of 14 victories.
Namjong Plus (NZ) has been a standout performer, winning five of his 22 starts for owner Claudia Sze Hill Tung and trainer Me Tsui.
The gelding has clocked slick winning times of 1:23.07 for 1400 metres, 1:36.51 for 1600 metres and 1:49.35 for 1800 metres, and he has earned HK$4,406,250 – the equivalent of more than NZ$840,000.
The John Size-trained Aerohappiness (NZ) earned a similar amount, amassing HK$4.34 million through his 18-start, four-win career. All of those victories came over the sprint distance of 1200 metres, and his winning times were 1:10.04, 1:09.47, 1:08.52 and 1:08.81.
Not Usual Talent (NZ) has had 17 starts for three wins, five placings and has so far earned HK$5.6 million for trainer Benno Yung. He was also competitive in this season’s Group 2 Jockey Club Mile and Group 3 January Cup, finishing close up behind the placegetters.
Super Alliances (NZ), another sprinter from the Size stable, scored his first Hong Kong victory in June and clocked a smart time of 1:09.05 for the 1200-metre distance.
Ares (NZ) has collected a win and a placing in his four-start career to date, winning over 1200 metres in quick time back in February for trainer Frankie Lor and champion jockey Zac Purton.
Zacinto boasts an overall tally of 62 winners from 118 individual runners, with five winners at black-type level – Ugo Foscolo (NZ) (G1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas, G2 James & Annie Sarten Memorial S., Listed Hamilton Vets Equine 2YO S.), Secret Allure (NZ) (G3 Desert Gold S., G3 Taranaki Breeders’ S., Listed NZB Airfreight S., Listed Champagne S.), Odeon (NZ) (Listed VRC James Boag’s Premium S., Listed MRC Lord S., 3rd G1 South Australian Derby), Vassilator (NZ) (Listed VRC Anzac Day S., 2nd G1 Caulfield Guineas) and Zigwig (NZ) (Listed Champagne S.).
Zacinto will stand for a service fee of $8,000 + GST at Valachi Downs in 2020.