Vincent Ho had to settle for second on Southern Legend but earlier enjoyed an easy win on a potential future star when Winning Dreamer (125lb) lived up to expectations with a successful debut in the Class 4 Piper’s Hill Handicap (1000m) at Sha Tin on Sunday. The Frankie Lor-trained three-year-old showed good speed and shrugged off the useful top-weight Fabulous Eight (131lb) to win with plenty in hand – the margin was a length and three quarters and the time a smart 55.59s.
Winning Dreamer looks good on debut, photo Hong Kong Jockey Club
“He has a bright future and hopefully he’ll be in Group races in time,” Ho said of the 2.4 favourite. “He jumped well and relaxed really nicely in the race and just kept going.
“He’s still got a lot to learn but it’s been better each time he’s had a barrier trial – he was very green and he settled more on the turn in his last trial.”
Lor was pleased with his debutant who may be seen in action again before the campaign wraps up on 15 July.
“He’s got quality but he’s still green and was laying in through the final stages, so I’d like to give him one more run before the end of the season,” Lor said.
Zac Purton was three wins ahead of Joao Moreira when the championship protagonists mounted for the first race and was four in front at the end of the 11-race programme after he picked up one win, while the Brazilian drew a blank.
Purton’s win came when the Dennis Yip-trained Racing Fighter (130lb) took the Class 3 Eagle’s Nest Handicap (1200m) by a short-head from the Moreira-ridden Unique Treasure (115lb). That took trainer and jockey to 14 wins in tandem this term at a strike-rate of 34%.
Yip collected his third double of the season and first since December when Hinyuen Swiftness (126lb) followed Racing Fighter to the winner’s arch. The top-weight needed every ounce of Alfred Chan’s 7lb claim to hold off the Purton-ridden Bright Kid (125lb) by a short-head.
Chan nailed his third double of the campaign when making all on the John Moore-trained Beauty Amigo in the Class 3 Eagle’s Nest Handicap (1200m).
Michael Chang gained his 16th victory, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s required total, when Bullish Glory (119lb) took the Class 4 Tate’s Cairn Handicap (2000m) under Karis Teetan. The hooded seven-year-old, a G2 winner and fourth in the Italian Derby in a former life, boxed on to score by half a length from the Purton-ridden Good Day (121lb).
Superb Daddy moved trainer Peter Ho to 14 wins for the season with success under Neil Callan in the Class 4 Sha Tin Pass Handicap (1400m).
Teetan also bagged two wins, his second coming aboard the Benno Yung-trained Marvel Dragon in the Class 3 Hung Mui Kuk Handicap (1400m).
The afternoon started with a pair of Class 5 contests, sections one and two of the Tsz Wan Shan Handicap (1400m): Soccer Master made it two wins on the bounce when taking the opener for jockey Matthew Poon and trainer Chis So – successful also with Mr Croissant – while the Richard Gibson-trained Kwaichung Brothers crept up the rail to nick the second section under Vagner Borges.
Hong Kong racing continues at Happy Valley on Wednesday, 3 June.