It was a day when HKD$64 m was up for grabs at Shatin race course in Hong Kong, and in one of the feature races - the HK$16m Gr 1 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile, yet another son of Danehill - The Duke - added further Group 1 glory to his sire’s record when winning Hong Kong’s premier mile event (having finished third in the 2004 event and 2nd last year) in a time of 1 minute 33.4 - just one-tenth of a second outside a track record that has stood for 23 years.

Back at Summerhill it was business as usual, but for Mullins Bay, the son of Machiavellian who will retire to stud next year, the result did much to frank his recent Italian form. Third place getter in the HK mile was the dual Gr 1 winner and Italian Champion, Ramonti, who carved out the early pace, and held on gallantly for third with a wall of horses behind him.

When Ramonti met Mullins Bay last month Mullins Bay was having his first start in 14 months and finished second.

After yesterday’s result,  all augurs well for Mullins Bay’s assault on the Dubai International Racing Carnival.