Karis Teetan celebrates his first Group One win in Hong Kong as Mr Stunning defends his Hong Kong Sprint title.

In a remarkable repeat of the 2017 edition, Mr Stunning not only again won the Gr. 1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint, but also secured the win at the expense of the same horse in a landmark success for his trainer and jockey.

However, the similarities do not extend beyond the deja vu quinella of Mr Stunning and D B Pin. Last year the winner was trained by John Size, but he is now in the hands of his one-time disciple Frankie Lor, who was able to claim his first Group One win.

It was also a first Group One win in Hong Kong for jockey Karis Teetan who, 12 months earlier, had watched the race from the grandstand and was overwhelmed with his breakthrough at the top level.

“He had a lovely trip through the race and I’m just so happy. It’s incredible. I’ve never felt like this. It’s the first time I’ve heard the crowd shouting like this. I just knew when I pressed the button he was going to go. He felt different today, felt so good,” he said.

Mr Stunning was ably handled by the Mauritian jockey and slotted into the stalking trail, but even he conceded the race unfolded perfectly for the defending champion.

“When Ivictory went forward to put some pressure on Hot King Prawn, I was pretty happy about that. My horse never travels too hard in a race but he was really so relaxed underneath me today,” Teetan said.

Last year Mr Stunning held a neck margin over then stablemate D B Pin. Today, he extended the break to three-quarters of a length in Hong Kong’s premier sprint race to provide Lor with his first ‘major’ in his second season of training.

“I’m very happy,” Lor said, “Karis did a great job out there. It took me a long time to get a trainer’s licence, so I need to try my best to keep going and train more Group One winners. I think John (Size) might also be happy because I worked for him and he was a great boss.”

Sam Clipperton, who rode the runner-up D B Pin, was so close to his most significant win in Hong Kong and was more than gracious in defeat.

“I just needed that luck and unfortunately, the luck enabled Karis to get a neck start on me and my horse is just held to the line. Well done to Karis, he deserves that win, he works bloody hard. I am very proud of my horse and he has run a cracker only second up,” Clipperton said.

Size had both the minor placegetters, with Beat The Clock beaten a length and a quarter into third place, which maintained his remarkable record of having finished top three at each of his 17 starts. The lowest-rated runner Little Giant indicated that he belongs at the top level with his length and three-quarters fourth, while Singapore’s Lim’s Cruiser fared best of the visitors in seventh.

The favourite Hot King Prawn wilted to finish ninth after being pressured in front. “He just didn’t race at his best today,” was all jockey Joao Moreira could offer immediately post race.

The race was delayed five minutes after Pingwu Spark, who could not be loaded into the starting gates, was scratched. Mr Stunning and D B Pin were two of the last horses to be loaded, but fleet-footed from the start and emphatic at the end.

The result carried a strong New Zealand flavour. Mr Stunning was a $250,000 purchase from Lyndhurst Farm’s draft at the 2014 Premier Sale at Karaka. The same sale featured the New Zealand-bred D B Pin, who sold for $200,000 from The Oaks Stud’s draft.

Bred by Willie and Karen Calder, D B Pin is by Darci Brahma out of Pins ’N’ Needles and is a half-brother to the dam of last season’s champion New Zealand two-year-old Avantage.

Third-placed Beat The Clock was sold by Prima Park for $200,000 at the 2015 Ready to Run Sale. Fourth-placed Little Giant was bred in New Zealand and won two races in his homeland under the name Blackcrown.