Classique Legend has turned in one of the worst performances of his career to finish down the track in the Group One Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin.
The race was won by Japan’s Danon Smash, who overcame the outside barrier in the 14-horse field to give world-class jockey Ryan Moore an early Group One double.
Moore also took out the Hong Kong Vase aboard Mogul for Irish wizard Aidan O’Brien.
Having his first start for new trainer Caspar Fownes, Classique Legend was a clear last after the field had gone a few strides and settled among the tailenders.
When Vincent Ho attempted to improve into the race, The Everest winner struggled to find clear galloping room but when he did get space, he didn’t hit the line with his customary gusto.
He was never a threat at any stage and was well beaten.
Fownes had cautioned he was in a race against time to peak Classique Legend for Sunday’s rich International Sprint after the five-year-old arrived in Hong Kong from Sydney last month.
It was just the third time the five-year-old has missed a place in 13 starts.