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Werther surprises with QEII Cup win

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/04/2016

New Zealand-bred galloper Werther has trounced a top field to win the QEII Cup in Hong Kong on Sunday.

Winning trainer John Moore and jockey Hugh Bowman were elated as the four-year-old powered away from a world-class field of open-age rivals to clinch victory in the $NZ3.76 million 2000m showcase.

Werther stretched out to a four-and-a-half length win for his first international Group One triumph.

Son of boom Cambridge Stud stallion Tavistock, Werther had also proven too strong for his age group when winning the Hong Kong Derby last month.

Nonetheless, Moore was surprised with the QEII Cup victory.

"I was never expecting that," he said.

"We did know he handled the heavy track in New Zealand and that it wouldn't be a problem today - but that was beyond my expectations."

Bowman was also surprised by the ease of the win.

"I had a suspicion after the Derby we would see a better horse against better opposition, but I certainly didn't expect him to perform to the level he did."

Moore is now eyeing further Group One targets at home and abroad.

"Next we'll go to the Champions and Chater Cup over a mile and a half here in a month's time. Then we'll give him a break and I'll be trying to pull the owner's leg to go back to Australia for the Cox Plate."

Werther won the Championship Stakes at Ellerslie this time last year, before an Australian campaign where he finished second in the South Australian and Queensland Derbys, with a win in the Group Two Eagle Farm Cup in between.

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