Handy Chadwick notches a double
It paid to be handy at Happy Valley last night on a track favouring front-runners and Matthew Chadwick, not a stranger to aggressive riding tactics, made the most of the conditions with a winning double.
Chadwick drove to the lead on Super Brother for Andreas Schutz and then later for his old boss Tony Cruz on the previously winless Bould Mover, the all-the-way victories taking him to 38 wins for the year.
It was somewhat of a surprise to see Super Brother as pacesetter: 'Earlier on in his career, he just couldn't go forward, he didn't have that sort of speed in the first 100 or 200m,' Schutz said.
While the tactics employed on Chadwick's first winner were a successful shock move, Bould Mover has always shown early dash, yet hadn't finished off in 14 local starts.
The five-year-old was fifth in the King's Stand Stakes two years ago, but since arriving with Cruz, it's been all downhill.
'This horse has had so many problems,' Cruz said. 'He had a hole in a tendon on one of hind legs, you just never see that, it's usually the front, and mucus issues too. Hopefully he has grown out of those.'
Zac Purton matched Chadwick's effort with a brace of his own, but will be again cooling his heels on the sidelines after incurring a two-meeting suspension for careless riding, for his effort on the Paul O'Sullivan-trained Good Boy Boy.
Both of Purton's winners were for Peter Law Kin Sang and his family: favourite Grand Elite and later Vigor Delight, ridden to perfection from gate 12 in the last. Both were prepared by Caspar Fownes, who said Grand Elite was 'one for next year.'
'He is only three and he is the sort of horse that will benefit from putting 50 or 60 pounds on over the off-season,' he said.
Fownes was pumped up after Purton charted a path behind the field and straight to the the rail from the widest gate on Vigor Delight. 'He had him exactly where we wanted, four back on the fence,'the trainer said.
Purton's suspension, which came with a $40,000 fine, starts after the Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup day on May 27, along with that of fellow Australian Willie Pike, who was also given two days. It is basically the third consecutive two-day suspension for Purton, who had only just returned from another.
The night's feature race, The France Galop Cup, was taken by Francis Lui Kin-wai's Touch Go (Mark du Plessis), who has now notched all of his three local wins over the course and distance.
'The track is good for the front-runners, so I asked Mark to be right there,' Lui said. 'He also did a good job of keeping the favourite boxed up,' he added, referring to Charles The Great, second after being stuck in a pocket behind the leading pair in the straight.
Me Tsui Yu-sak's Gold Edition showed some spark to hold the rail and lead in the Le French May Trophy, and then some class to burst away, giving the three-year-old wins at both tracks in a solid first season. 'From watching him in trackwork, you wouldn't think he could gallop at all, he is so lazy,' Tsui said. 'The boys are always complaining about him.'
Douglas Whyte found the box seat in the opener aboard Kingston Elite (Gary Ng Ting-keung), while the Peter Ho Leung-trained Mr Award (Ben So Tik-hung) won his fourth race of the season.