Amber Sky lives up to the hype in Al Quoz

Amber Sky (AUS)
Photo: Cedric Lane (

Amber Sky lived up to his lofty reputation a ball of pure speed by making every yard of the running in the Al Quoz Sprint empowered by IPIC.

The latest sprinting bomb from Hong Kong set a new track record for the Meydan straight 1000m at 56.21 seconds in defeating Ahtoug and Shea Shea by a neck and a head.

It was Hong Kong’s second victory in the race since Joy And Fun won it in 2010 and trainer Ricky Yiu’s first success on Dubai World Cup night.

For Brazilian-born jockey Joao Moreira, who has made such an impression in his maiden campaign in Hong Kong, his first ride at the world’s richest meeting turned to gold.

“He’s such a fast horse and very easy to ride. I was able to not let him go too fast in the early stages, to hold onto him a bit, but when I pushed the button he gave me another kick and kept going to the line,” Moreira said post-race.

“Near the line I could feel the other two horses coming at me, I didn’t know who they were, but he kept sticking his neck out and we got there. This is such a thrill for me to win a Group 1 on the biggest stage of all.”

Trainer Ricky Yiu said he would consider further international options for the straight 1000m specialist.

“It was always the plan to come here and win an international race. The King’s Stand at Royal Ascot is a possible target but I will talk to the owners first,” Yiu commented.

“It’s a stiff five furlongs (1000m) uphill at Ascot so it would be a new challenge but he’s an improving horse.

“I’m just very relieved he won. It was tough. They were all coming at him in the last 1000m and I was worried that he might get tired but he fought really well,” he added.

Yiu previously trained two of the greats of Hong Kong racing in Fairy King Prawn and Sacred Kingdom but was reluctant to draw any comparison to those greats just yet.

“I can’t compare him yet to those horses as he only done it down a straight course at 1000m. He would have to do it around a bend at 1200m also but maybe he can get to that level in the future,” he smiled.