Trainer Richard Hannon has hailed Paco Boy a remarkable horse as his stable stalwart prepares for a final fling in the G1 Hong Kong Mile this Sunday.
Paco Boy has won 11 of his 23 starts, including three Group 1 events, and has had the misfortune of bumping into Goldikova on more than one occasion.
It had been thought he ran his last race when fourth to Goldikova at the Breeders’ Cup but Hannon said he was so well they had nothing to lose by running him at Sha Tin before he heads off to begin a shuttling career between Highclere Stud and Waikato Stud in New Zealand.
“He is remarkable this horse. He has been on the go since April and run endless great races against the best milers in the world,” Hannon said. “Without the great Goldikova he would have two more Group 1 races to his name.
“He came home from the United States in even better nick than when he went out. He wasn’t suited to the tight turns at Churchill Downs and his finishing time in the straight there was reported to have been a record.”
Paco Boy (5h Desert Style — Tappen Zee by Sandhurst Prince) won his maiden at Newbury in September 2007 and trained on for Group 1 victories in the 2008 Prix de la Forêt at Longchamp, 2009 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot and the 2010 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.
Apart from his G1 triumphs, he also won the G2 Lennox Stakes at Goodwood, G2 Sandown Mile (twice) and G2 Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.
Waikato Stud owner Garry Chittick was thrilled to purchased an interest in Paco Boy. “We regard him as one of the best international performers to be retiring to stud in New Zealand for some years,” Chittick said. “We love the Green Desert line and feel with his tremendous good looks he is exactly what we have been looking for our broodmare band.”
Paco Boy has been installed a $3.50 favourite for the Hong Kong Mile ahead of local star Able One (NZ) at $5.50.