Mighty Giant sealed a fifth consecutive win with an impressive performance in the Class 2 Argyle Handicap (1400m) at Sha Tin on Saturday which had trainer Ricky Yiu eyeing Group 1 targets.
Mighty Giant wins his fifth race in a row, photo Hong Kong Jockey Club
“There’s every possible chance he’ll run on International Day because there could be no overseas runners,” Yiu said, referring to December’s HK$95 million LONGINES Hong Kong International Races.
The smart chestnut broke evenly from gate 10 under Zac Purton, who mustered his mount forward to settle close to the speed. Mighty Giant hit the front at the 200m mark and kept smart rivals at bay for a neck winning margin.
“He’s an honest horse, he gets up there and makes his own luck and he’s a fighter – he’s a winner,” Purton said of the five-year-old.
The win sealed a treble for Purton, who earlier in the afternoon had ended a 33-ride winless streak stretching back to 11 October.
Today’s win was Mighty Giant’s classiest to date as he defeated a field featuring leading Four-Year-Old Classic Series prospects, Sky Field and Lucky Express. That duo ran with credit to finish third and fourth respectively.
“The pace early on absolutely suited my horse according to Zac Purton, and he travelled as a lovely horse,” Yiu said. “He was so relaxed and he was always waiting for the signal and once he asked him to kick he really accelerated – a lovely horse.”
The Power gelding takes his record to six wins from nine starts and Yiu is eyeing a pair of Class 1 contests as the chestnut’s next start before a potential tilt toward the HK$25 million LONGINES Hong Kong Mile.
“I spoke to Zac right after the race, there’s a few feature races we have to think about but I’m not sure which one we’ll go for: there’s the Panasonic Cup over 1400m and the Chevalier Cup over the mile next month, there’s a lot of time to make a decision,” Yiu said.
Purton kicked off his treble with victory aboard Hong Kong International Sale graduate Beauty Angel in the Class 4 Waterloo Handicap (1800m).
Immediately before Mighty Giant’s success in the finale, Purton drove the Danny Shum-trained Lockheed to his long overdue first Hong Kong win at his 24th Hong Kong start, in the Class 3 Dundas Handicap (1200m).
“He’s always had problems, so I’m very thankful to the owner who has been patient and has given me a lot time,” Shum said.
The grey was a G1 placegetter pre-import, having finished third in the G1 National Stakes at the Curragh as a two-year-old when under the care of trainer William Haggas.
The win secured a double for Shum, who claimed the race prior with Baltic Success in the Class 3 Bedford Handicap (1000m) under Jerry Chau, who also took two winners on the card. The apprentice earlier claimed the Class 4 Pitt Handicap (1400m) aboard the Francis Lui-trained Sunny Star.
Hong Kong racing continues on Wednesday (28 October) at Happy Valley.