Let’s Do The Time Warp, Again | TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video

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By Alan Carasso

Like many a European import, Time Warp (GB) (Archipenko) required a fair bit of time to acclimatise to the unique environs of Hong Kong racing. To say the lights have gone on over the last six months would be a monumental understatement, and the 5-year-old continued his rise through the local ranks with track record-setting performance in Sunday’s G1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup, defeating former Horse of the Year Werther (NZ) (Tavistock {NZ}) just as he did in the G1 Longines Hong Kong Cup two starts back. The final time of 1:59.97 marked the first time in history that the 2-minute mark had been breached over the Sha Tin 2000 metres and broke the previous record of 2:00.10 set by the legendary Jim and Tonic (Fr) (Double Bed {Fr}) in the QE II Cup some 19 years ago.

A horse for whom the start is key, Time Warp jumped well this time and was trapped out just a bit as Dinozzo (Ire) (Lilbourne Lad {Ire}) and Werther showed enough early speed, but managed to cross down to the fence with better than a mile to travel, having not spent too much fuel to do so. He soon had company from Helene Charisma (Fr) (Air Chief Marshal {Ire}), while the comebacking ‘TDN Rising Star’ Pakistan Star (Ger) (Shamardal), slow away from gate one, mustered at the fence to enjoy the run of the race. With Zac Purton tall in the irons, Time Warp was allowed to bowl along, but whereas he was able to really slow things down in the Hong Kong Cup, he was afforded no such luxuries this time. Having negotiated the opening six furlongs in that race in 1:15.76, the 1200m split this time was some 15 lengths faster, but Time Warp was showing no signs of quit, even as Werther was cruising into it after enjoying a hasslefree trip from midfield. Hugh Bowman peeled out the narrow market leader at the top of the lane and had dead aim on the pacesetter, looking every bit a winner at the 150m. But with his head cocked to the left to eyeball his older rival, Time Warp wagged his finger and kept digging to find the wire first. Seasons Bloom (Aus) (Captain Sonador {Aus}), stretching back out in trip off his G1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) success a month ago, was a creditable third. Pakistan Star, who’d done his best previous work from well off the speed, raced much handier in this first-up appearance, and was outstanding in fourth.

“You don’t want as much pressure as he had today, every time I thought I could back the speed off a little bit more and take a breather they kept going at him and kept making him do it, which I thought may happen. Thankfully he still came out on top,” Purton, who rode four winners on the day, told the HKJC’s David Morgan.

Time Warp, who was exiting a slow-starting 10th to Seasons Bloom in the Stewards’ Cup, holds an entry for the G1 Dubai Turf, but there will be no overseas journeys, for now, at least.

“He’ll stay back for the rest of the Hong Kong races–maybe next year we’ll go places with him,” trainer Tony Cruz said. “I don’t want to gamble with the chance that he goes to Dubai and doesn’t feel 100% when he comes back to run those races in Hong Kong. I’m going to play safe.”

The G1 QE II Cup Apr. 29 is next for Time Warp and that will also be the target for Pakistan Star, who was only recently cleared to return to action after displaying rogue behaviour in the morning and in the afternoon. Jockey Matthew Chadwick felt his charge may just have run out of condition in the waning stages.

“I felt once I pulled him out he would have just dashed and would have beaten them easily. When I got out in the clear he just seemed to stay in the same spot,” he said.

Werther was found to have bled and faces a mandatory three-month ban.

“Hugh got a head in front and he said he thought he was going to sustain it and kick a little more, and then we’ve seen that the horse has bled, so that’s probably the reason why,” trainer John Moore said.

Pedigree Notes:

Bred by Kirsten Rausing, Time Warp is one of three Group 1 winners for his sire, whose untimely passing was announced a week after Time Warp’s victory in December. The winner is a maternal grandson of SW Heat of the Night, whose dam was a Group 3 winner in Brazil. Time Warp is a half-brother to Jack Crow (GB) (Bahamian Dancer {GB}, twice second in a pair of runs in England in 2017, and is also kin to Heatwave (GB) (f, 2, Leroidesanimaux {Brz}). Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.

Sunday, Sha Tin, Hong Kong
CITI HONG KONG GOLD CUP-G1, HK$10,000,000 (£915,969/€1,037,042/A$1,629,499/US$1,278,067), Sha Tin, 2-25, 3yo/up, 2000mT, 1:59.97 (NCR), gd.
1–TIME WARP (GB), 126, g, 5, by Archipenko
1st Dam: Here to Eternity, by Stormy Atlantic
2nd Dam: Heat of the Night (GB), by Lear Fan
3rd Dam: Hot Thong (Brz), by Jarraar
(€37,000 Ylg ’14 TISEP). O-Martin Siu; B-Miss K Rausing; T-Tony Cruz; J-Zac Purton; HK$5,700,000. Lifetime Record: MSW-Fr, 26-10-3-4, HK$27,260,680. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Werther (NZ), 126, g, 6, Tavistock (NZ)–Bagalollies (Aus), by Zabeel (NZ). O-Johnson Chen; B-C D Allison, C V & J A Barnao, A R Campbell, T G Heptinstall, T M Pivac & D R Platt; T-John Moore; HK$2,200,000.
3–Seasons Bloom (Aus), 126, g, 5, Captain Sonador (Aus)–Pyramisa’s Lass (Aus), by Not a Single Doubt (Aus). (A$26,000 Wlg ’13 MMNWNL). O-Paul & Kathy Lo; B-B M Nolan (Qld); T-Danny Shum; HK$1,000,000.
Margins: HF, HF, NK. Odds: 2-1, 9-5, 38-5.
Also Ran: Pakistan Star (Ger), Gold Mount (GB), Eagle Way (Aus), Dinozzo (Ire), Secret Weapon (GB), Helene Charisma (Fr).
Click for the HKJC chart, PPs and sectional timing. VIDEO.

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