Junko goes one better for Fabre in Hong Kong Vase

After training the runner up in 2022, Andre Fabre has claimed the Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin with Junko delivering a last to first victory.

Andre Fabre has a strong record in the Hong Kong Vase having trained the 2014 Hong Kong International Vase (2400m) winner Flintshire followed by multiple runner-up finishes including Botanik’s second to Win Marilyn at the 2022 HKIR meeting.

Junko was impressive under the guidance of jockey Maxime Guyon at Sha Tin on Sunday, settling last before producing a long, sustained run, hitting the front inside the furlong before a one length win ensued over Japan runner Zeffiro with Australian jockey Damian Lane aboard.

“I was confident, just worried with not too many runners and I was fearing a French type rate with no pace,” winning trainer Andre Fabre said.

“I got a bit worried because I thought he was a bit far behind, but they quickened early so he could pick up and finish well. He (Maxime) didn’t panic.”

Winning jockey Maxime Guyon is also no stranger to success in Hong Kong having won both the Hong Kong Classic Cup and Hong Kong Derby with Ambitious Dragon.

It was Guyon’s second success in the Hong Kong International Vase who was aboard Flintshire in the 2014 renewal.

“It’s a really important place,” Guyon said.

“All the jockeys want come to Hong Kong for the finish of the year. It’s a really good week.

“Hong Kong is special, so I’m really happy to come back nine years after Flintshire to win the Hong Kong Vase again.”

Race favourite Lebensstill was disappointing, settling midfield before failing to beat a runner home while second market elect Warm Heart was prominent throughout to finish third.

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