Thoroughbred racing in mainland China was given a major boost when one of its former star racehorses secured a dominant win at Santa Anita Racecourse in the United States in the earlier hours of this morning.
Beat of the Drum
The triumph of Beat of the Drum is believed to be the first time a mainland Chinese racehorse has won a race in a leading racing centre and the long term implications for the thoroughbred industry in mainland China and for the international involvement of Chinese owners may be significant.
“Today, a Chinese owned, former Chinese based racehorse won at Santa Anita in the United States and the implications of this result cannot be lost. In time this win may prove to be the catalyst for much greater involvement from the Chinese in international racing,” said Teo Ah Khing, Chairman of the China Horse Club.
“Importantly, this win also shows that the best horses in China can travel and be successful. We hope Beat of the Drum will encourage other Chinese owners to come to countries like the United States to compete because it is through competition that the domestic industry in China will strengthen and that an appreciation for the standard of racing in mainland China will grow.”
Industry leaders from mainland China were equally buoyant on the significance of this win.
Beat of the Drum is one of three star racehorses that was successfully exported from China to the United States by the China Horse Club as part of the CHC China Dream Project. This project is designed to promote international opportunities for talented Chinese men and women and also talented Chinese racehorses. A further announcement of international opportunities for Chinese jockeys is set to be made shortly as a second stage of the CHC China Dream Project.
Beat of the Drum was originally a member of Aidan O’Brien’s all conquering stable in Ireland before being imported to China among a group of performers from Ireland, France and Australia which took part in the inaugural China Equine Cultural Festival in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia in 2013. The lightly raced mare showed her undoubted capabilities when streeting rivals in the feature race,the RMB 1 million Breeders’ Cup. That performance alone ensured she joined Alcott and The Ferryman who were both winners from the 2014 CECF which was held outside of Shanghai, in a pioneering shipment to the United States.
Jockey Kent Desormeaux with Beat of the Drum
Beat of the Drum was given an exquisite ride by Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux who cruised across from his outside gate to take the mare to the lead where she remained for the rest of the contest. At the 600m Beat of the Drum was challenged by rival Bottle Blonde but shook her off rounding the home corner before unleashing a strong sprint to pull clear and win by threeand a quarter lengths untouched by Desormeaux. Beat of the Drum’s trainer Leonard Powell was delighted in the result and spoke of greater goals ahead for his mare.
Beat of the Drum has a lot of potential. Today’s win is only the first step into what we believe will be a campaign at the highest level of USA racing,” he said.
“Today’s race featured multiple international stakes performers, including a group 1 winner. And the victory was never in doubt for Beat of the Drum.”
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