Sky Darci gave trainer Caspar Fownes his second Hong Kong Derby triumph, having savoured his first win in 2010 with Super Satin. Winning jockey Joao Moreira also celebrated his second Derby success after Rapper Dragon in 2017, while surging over the 100-win mark for the 2020/21 season.
Golden Sixty takes the Derby to become the second horse, after Rapper Dragon in 2017, to win all three legs of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series. Jockey Vincent Ho also becomes the first home grown jockey to win the Derby, since Tony Cruz won atop Makarpura Star in 1995
Furore gave trainer Frankie Lor a first Hong Kong Derby win. Lor became the second trainer, following John Moore in 2014 & 2017, to win all three legs of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series in the same season.
Three-time British champion jockey Ryan Moore notched his first BMW Hong Kong Derby success atop the John Size-trained Ping Hai Star.
Rapper Dragon made history when becoming to first horse to win all three legs of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series
The John Moore-trained Werther took the 2016 BMW Hong Kong Derby. He followed the footsteps of his stablemate Designs On Rome in 2014 and Ambitious Dragon in 2011 to become the 3rd four-year-old who later won the QEII Cup and the Horse of the Year title in the same season.
Zac Purton notched his first Hong Kong Derby success atop Luger in 2015.
Derby hero Designs On Rome (2014) crowned Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year and added the G1 QEII Cup and the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup to his big-race haul.
The quality on display in the Hong Kong Derby is also reflected in the beaten runners. In 2014, Designs On Rome defeated his stablemate Able Friend. The latter ended the year as the co-third best horse in the world with an official rating of 127 – a new high for a Hong Kong horse – after an imperious victory in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile.
The Shamardal gelding went on to become Hong Kong’s Champion Miler and Horse of the Year and was, for the first portion of 2015, rated the world’s best racehorse.
The year the Hong Kong Derby first ran under the BMW banner
The 2013 victor Akeed Mofeed followed up with an international triumph in that year’s G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup
Derby hero Ambitious Dragon (2011) crowned Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year.
Viva Pataca, the 2006 Derby hero, twice won the G1 QEII Cup (2007 & 2010) and was runner-up in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic.
In tandem with Hong Kong racing as a whole, the overall quality of Hong Kong’s four-year-olds has improved since the turn of the century. The 2005 Derby winner, Vengeance Of Rain, went on to become the first Hong Kong horse to win an overseas Group 1 when he collected the 2007 edition of the Dubai Sheema Classic.
Elegant Fashion was the third and most recent filly to have succeeded the Hong Kong Derby in the professional era.
Initially run at 2400m, the distance of the Hong Kong Derby has varied down the years, but was constant at 1800m from 1977 until it was increased to its current 2000m in 2000.
The 1999 Hong Kong Derby winner Holy Grail is the longest-priced Derby winner (at 182/1) and first three finisher (36/1) in the past 30 years.
Johan Cruyff won the 1998 Hong Kong Derby by 5 lengths and he is the horse with largest winning margin in the past 30 years.
Derby hero Makarpura Star (1995) crowned Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year. Makarpura Star became the first Hong Kong runner to be placed in an overseas Group race.
Derby hero River Verdon (1991) crowned Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year.
Derby hero Yuno When (1986) crowned Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year.
Derby hero Co-Tack (1983) crowned Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year.
Derby hero Football (1982) crowned Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year.
Since 1981, the Hong Kong Derby has been exclusive to four-year-old horses and is the race that often determines that generation’s outstanding champion. The race was established, as with all Derbys around the world, in the tradition of the original Derby, first staged at Epsom, England in 1780.
Since Hong Kong racing turned professional, the first Viva Pataca, owned by Dr Stanley Ho in the 1980s, remains the only horse to have participated in the Hong Kong Derby twice (1980 and 1981).
Vivacious became the first filly to have won the Hong Kong Derby in the professional era.
Babsie, Champion of 1953 Hong Kong Derby
Happy Valley Racecourse
The Hong Kong Derby was first staged in 1873, 11 years before the formation of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, and, with the exception of the war years, has been annual social and sporting highlight ever since. The race is the most prestigious local event in Hong Kong racing and nowadays offers once-in-a-lifetime glory to each winner.