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where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2009-04-13 11:29:29  
JOYFUL WINNER BAGS MACAU GROUP ONE

Joyful Winner added another feature win to his distinguished career when the Hong Kong based performer travelled to Macau to win the Group One Macau Hong Kong Trophy on Sunday.

A gelded son of El Moxie, Joyful Winner boosted his earnings past the equivalent of A$3.5 million when he thumped his rivals in the feature event of the weekend.

Attracting a quality field of gallopers from both Macau and Hong Kong, it was the multiple Group One winner from Hong Kong who triumphed.

The gelding has been an incredible money spinner for his connections after being purchased for just $24,000 at the 2002 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale at the Gold Coast.

For trainer Dennis Yip the win was a relief as Joyful Winner - a proven big race winner and incredible money spinner - had been out of the winner's stall for some time.

"Joyful Winner has the class but hadn't won a race for a long time," Yip commented.

"I have spent a lot of effort in training this horse. When he finished third in his last start on dirt it indicated that he was back in good form."

"Full credit to Eric (Saint-Martin) also, as he has ridden a great race."

"In short, it is a great honour to win this event," Yip summed up. "I have sent runners to participate in this event in the past and eventually I have won it. I'm very happy!"

Winning rider Eric Saint-Martin was thrilled to capture won of the big races on the Macau calendar.

"It's a pleasure to win in Macau again," Saint-Martin said.

"My horse showed a great turn of foot when he had a clear run and he won comfortably."

Joyful Winner wasn't the only Magic Millions graduate to star at the feature race meeting in Macau on Sunday.

Rising star Viva Pronto added another runaway win to his record when he cruised to victory in the 1200 metre turf contest.

The son of Catcher in the Rye trained by Gary Moore has won five of his six starts and he looks a group horse in the making.

Viva Pronto was purchased by John Hutchinson's Scone Bloodstock Services on behalf of owner Dr Stanley Ho, the head of the Macau Jockey Club, at the Magic Millions National Horses in Training Sale for $140,000.

He was the fastest breeze-upper at the auction and attracted plenty of interest from potential buyers when he went under the hammer at the 2007 sale.

It was fitting that another Magic Millions graduate to win at the meeting was trained by Stephen Leung.

A leading Macau trainer and Magic Millions' agent and representative for China, Leung purchased the day's pin-up victor Joyful Winner as a yearling.

His winner on the day was the Desert King galloper High Tide Kid - a $62,500 buy for Leung at the 2005 National Horses in Training Sale.

High Tide Kid was earlier pin hooked from the draft of Inverness Stud at the Adelaide Yearling Sale for $36,000.

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