26th February 2020

Everyone was a winner with a Price Bloodstock quinella at Happy Valley on Wednesday night as Invincible Missile was back in the winners’ circle and the owners of runner-up Shining Ace didn’t mind defeat at all.

Shining Ace went into the night’s racing clinging to a lead in the Happy Valley Million Challenge for the 2019-20 season and lined up for the final race of the night, and the series, with his challengers all having failed to do what was necessary to head him off.

He didn’t need any more points to secure the $650,000 prize for the competition, run from September to February for performances at the Valley in Class 3 and higher, but his running-on second gave him a record of 9 starts for 2 wins, 3 seconds and 4 thirds for the season.

“He did a good job – he’s been so consistent and has run very well every time he’s raced, Size said. “He has been good – he came back nice and in good shape, he holds himself well and he spent most of his time at Conghua but recently he’s been at Sha Tin and even with the travelling down from there he seems to handle it. He’s a deserved winner. It’s an extra bonus for the owners and it’s an incentive for them to bring their horse here so it’s a good competition.”

The gelding gave Size back to back Million Challenge wins, after Country Star had taken last season’s competition, and for Price Bloodstock it was a third win in the series with 2010 winner Loyal Army, Country Star and now Shining Ace.

While Shining Ace got the headlines, the win for Invincible Missile was a well-deserved victory after some luckless efforts lately at Sha Tin.

Invincible Missile had only been to Happy Valley once before for a 1650m attempt, but trainer Chris So gambled on the gelding getting a better speed in a sprint there than he had been getting at Sha Tin recently in two second placings.

“And that’s how it worked out. Zac Purton was able to sit back off the speed tonight and give him a relaxed run and save him for his strong finish,” So said. “He was a very convincing winner at the finish so I think he should be able to win again.”