Hong Kong


Bowman hopeful The Winnabe can continue streak

Fresh from a Happy Valley double on Thursday night (4 July), Hugh Bowman is optimistic unbeaten The Winnabe can continue an impressive debut campaign with a strong performance in the Class 3 Chow Silver Plate Handicap (1400m) at Sha Tin on Saturday (6 July).

Stepping to 1400m for the first time after a pair of 1200m victories, The Winnabe (126lb) faces 12 rivals including a string of recent winners led by Lovero (133lb), Gracious Express (131lb), Galvanic (124lb), King Miles (124lb) and Greenwich (120lb).

The Caravaggio three-year-old shapes as one of master trainer John Size’s most exciting prospects next season and Bowman is confident the gelding has what it takes to build on an impeccable start to his career.

“There's no doubt he [The Winnabe] is up to it, but he's still relatively young and inexperienced,” Bowman said. “But he's very natural and he's shown he's got an engine. It's going to be an interesting test to see where he's at, but he's an exciting horse.”

The Winnabe is two-from-two and boasts untapped potential; picture hkjc.com

The Winnabe finished powerfully from midfield to down Vantastic Choice at Sha Tin on 8 June after a similar display when defeating Super Infinity — also over 1200m — on 19 May with both wins coming from barrier two. The grey jumps from gate five tomorrow.

With 65 winners so far this season, Bowman also partners Top Scorer for Size in the Class 4 Arculli Trophy Handicap (1200m).

“He's a consistent horse and it's only a matter of time until he wins and hopefully it's this weekend,” Bowman said, referring to the gelding’s four seconds, two thirds and a fourth from seven starts.

Echoing Bowman’s ambitions for The Winnabe, Jerry Chau hopes Thunder Blink can maintain his unbeaten run with success in the Class 3 Stevenson Cup Handicap (1400m).

Triumphant in Griffin company over 1000m on 14 April and again over 1200m on 26 May for Jimmy Ting, the Ribchester three-year-old rises in class and distance and meets 12 more seasoned rivals tomorrow.

“Before he raced, he trialled very well and he's won twice since, and I feel like he's kept improving and I think he can handle Class 3,” Chau said.

“He's still immature and green, but I think he can get better. Class 3 will be tough, but with a good draw he can be competitive.”

Thunder Blink (121lb) will start from gate six against a string of recent winners headed by Hasten Delight (133lb), Beauty Glory (127lb), Beauty Fit (125lb), Super Goldi (122lb) and Our Lucky Glory (120lb).

Chau, 24, has 33 wins for the season and hopes to finish with a flourish with only three meetings left.

“It's been a good season. Everything has gone pretty well,” he said. “I've had more support and that’s been very good for me, especially getting nice horses like James Tak and Fun Together. I've enjoyed the season.”

With Zac Purton (122 wins) assured of a seventh Hong Kong jockeys’ championship, the battle for training honours continues between Pierre Ng (67) and Francis Lui (65). Ng has eight entries tomorrow, while Lui has 12.

Saturday’s (6 July) Sha Tin meeting starts with the Purves Quaich Plate (1200m) for Griffins at 4pm.