No fairytale farewell for Linton

Linton’s final run in Australian hands didn’t go to plan with the grey finishing among the tail in the Hong Kong Mile.

The John Sadler-trained gelding beat home just one runner in the 14-horse field at his last start before heading to Dubai to continue his career with Marco Botti.

Malua Racing’s Troy Corstens was disappointed to see the seven-year-old fail to figure in the event won by Glorious Days, but said trouble acclimatising after losing 15kg on the flight across may have caught up with the son of Galileo on raceday.

“It was disappointing to come halfway round the world and run like that,” Corstens said. “I would have expected him to run a bit better. He was well and truly below his best.

“The trip across and maybe losing that bit of weight hasn’t helped him.

“I would have liked him to leave us on a better note but that’s racing. Hopefully he can go up to Dubai and do better.”

Damien Oliver said that despite a slow beginning, Linton enjoyed a good run and saved ground rounding the home turn but the acceleration that carried him to a stunning win in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap in June was absent.

“He had a nice run but when I asked him to go coming to the turn he lacked his strong kick that he can have. He had his chance but wasn’t at his best today,” Oliver said.

Linton heads to Dubai a winner of seven of his 27 starts – four of them since joining Malua Racing early last year – having started his career with Lloyd Williams’ Macedon Lodge operation.

While the Hong Kong Mile provided no joy for the Australian-trained runner, there was an Australian connection to the winner with Glorious Day winning for John Size.

The former Sydney horseman, who has been a star of Hong Kong training for more than a decade, celebrated his first victory in one of international features when Douglas Whyte partnered him to victory.

Champion French mare Moonlight Cloud, the shortest-priced favourite across the four Group 1 international features, didn’t enjoy the best of runs and never threatened as a winning chance, finishing sixth.

Story by Greg Miles and Brad Bishop