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Able Friend Wins Gr1 Champions Mile
At Sha Tin in Hong Kong, European champion 4-time Gr1-winning former Darley shuttler Shamardal (Giant's Causeway-Helsinki, by Machiavellian) celebrated a Gr1 triumph when outstanding 5YO Australian-bred gelding Able Friend (Shamardal-Ponte Piccolo, by Volksraad) crusied to an effortless 1.25-length win for trainer John Moore in the HK$14 million Gr1 Champions Mile (1600m), over 6YO UK-bred gelding Rewarding Hero (Exceed and Excel-Caldy Dancer, by Soviet Star) & 7YO Irish-bred gelding Dan Excel (Shamardal-Love Excelling, by Polish Precedent). Able Friend took his record to 12 wins (including the Gr1 Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup, Gr1 Stewards' Cup, Gr1 Hong Kong Mile, Gr1 Hong Kong Classic Mile, Gr2 Jockey Club Mile & Gr2 HKJC Chairman's Trophy) and 5 placings (including the Gr1 Hong Kong Classic Cup & Gr1 Hong Kong Derby) from 18 starts for an incredible $8,174,967 earnings. Able Friend is out of the stakes-winning NZ-bred mare Ponte Piccolo and was purchased for $550,000 by his trainer John Moore at the 2011 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Turangga Farm. The Hong Kong superstar will now head to Royal Ascot to showcase his talents on the world stage by competing in the Gr1 Queen Anne Stakes.