Pakistan Star Blows Then Away in QEII Cup
Mark Smith - Sunday April 29

For a horse that had won just three of his 14 starts, cult hero Pakistan Star must have the world's biggest fan club.

The German-bred son of Shamardal originally came under notice for his miraculous come from behind wins but then earned notoriety for digging in his heels midrace and refusing to budge, earning the ire of stewards.

But there has never been any question of his ability.

Twelve months ago in the Group 1 Audemars Piguet QEII Cup at Sha Tin, he defeated all bar the star Japanese performer Neorealism with Horse Of The Year Werther in third place. It has been a lot of heartbreak since but that was all forgotten when William Buick guided Pakistan Star to an emphatic three-length win over his Tony Cruz-trained stablemate Gold Mount with Eagle Way one and a quarter length back in third. (photo Grant Courtney ).

With his first stakes win in the bag, there is even talk of a trip to Royal Ascot.

It was a lucky last-minute ride for Buick after Silvestre de Sousa and Kerrin McEvoy failed to make the trip to Hong Kong.

Pakistan Star was on his best behaviour, travelling sweetly on the fence in third place before Buick asked for the supreme effort.

"Tony went through his previous races with me, and he's quite a famous horse for his antics so I was aware of him and I was aware of what he can do," Buick said.

"When I found out that I was riding him, I took on board all of the information I knew about the horse and also thought it was quite important to ride him with a fresh mind and just be very positive about the horse.

"He felt beautiful today and when he quickened up the straight he felt like a world-class mile and a quarter horse."

The Japanese pair, Al Ain (Deep Impact) and Danburite (Rulership) failed to figure with the former clocking in fifth and the later seventh.

A half-brother to the stakes-placed Ninas Terz (Tertullian), Pakistan Star is the best of three winners out of the Peintre Celebre mare, Nina Celebre whose five wins included a pair of Listed races in Germany.

Nina Celebre is a daughter of the Group I German Oaks winner Next Gina who is by Testa Rossa's sire Perugino.

Pakistan Star becomes the 115th stakes winner and the 19th Group 1 winner for Shamardal (USA) who shuttled to Darley Australia for five seasons where he lest the Hong Kong Champion Able Friend, the Group 1 Epsom Handicap winner Captain Sonador, the Group 1 Darley Classic winner Delectation and the dual Group 1 winner Faint Perfume.