Godolphin won its second HKJC Vase in four years when Mastery scored a facile victory at Sha Tin on Sunday. Sheikh Mohammed claimed the Vase with Ramonti in 2007 and his latest winner was always travelling like a winner for Frankie Dettori.
Mastery will now be given the chance to emulate his sire Sulamani in the 2011 Dubai Sheema Classic in March.
Mastery (4c Sulamani — Moyesii Diesis) won the G2 Italian Derby and G1 English St Leger last year before travelling to Santa Anita where he was a beaten favourite in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Marathon.
He resumed this term with a fifth in the G1 Dubai World Cup and was sidelined during the summer before warming up for a trip to the Far East with a Listed victory at Kempton on November 3.
“He has been flying the last couple of days,” a delighted Dettori said. “He was going so well as they came into the straight, I knew nothing was going to outsprint me.
“For a four-year-old he’s had very little racing and the fresh legs have definitely helped.”
Mastery is a half-brother to Godolphin’s top-class stayer Kirklees (Jade Robbery). He was out her in 2009 and finished within four lengths of Viewed in the Caulfield Cup.
Sulamani (Hernando) won the 2002 French Derby and, after finishing second to Marienbard in the Arc de Triomphe, was purchased by Godolphin.
As a four-year-old, Sulamani won the Dubai Sheema Classic and finished second to Alamshar in the King George. Sent to the United States, he won the Arlington Million before a disappointing fifth behind High Chaparral in the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita.
In his final season of racing, Sulamani won the Juddmonte International at York and was retired to stud after capturing the Canadian International at Woodbine.
Sulamani earned a special place in the hearts of connections when he won the Arlington Million. He was Godolphin’s 100th Group 1 winner after Balanchine started the ball rolling with her victory in the 1994 English Oaks.
Dettori’s masterful ride in the Hong Kong Vase was in stark contrast to some of the other jockeys who seemed mesmerised by the slow fractions up front. The farcical pace compromised the chances of Melbourne Cup winner Americain who plugged on gamely for third without ever looking likely to finish closer.