Ping Hai Star drew admiring words from race watchers after a strong-closing second under Sam Clipperton in Monday's Gr.3 Celebration Cup (1400m) at Sha Tin behind fellow New Zealand bred and Hong Kong Horse of the Year Beauty Generation.
Last season's BMW Hong Kong Derby victor clocked the race’s fastest closing 400m split – 21.70s.
John Size’s charge was having his first start since last April when fourth in the G1 QEII Cup (2000m).
“It was a great return, he ran a cracker, he did everything perfectly – he left the gate well and he relaxed for me,” Clipperton said.
“He was trucking coming into the straight and I just had to work out where I was going to go but I had a nice uninterrupted run.
“It was a really nice pipe-opener for him. He was storming home again and I was struggling to pull him up.”
Remarkably, both Beauty Generation and Ping Hai Star were raised at boutique New Zealand stud farm Highden Park, in the lower north island.