Patient Ping serves up recipe for success
THESE are exciting times for local handler Wong Tang-ping who ranks up with the very best when it comes to patience as his results have shown this season. Call Me Horse's last-gasp success on Wednesday night moved Ping to 32 winners and left him just four behind long-time leader Patrick Biancone in the race for the training title. Ping has always maintained he doesn't care one jot about championships, just about the doing the best for each horse he trains over a number of seasons. You won't catch him squeezing the juice from one of his younger horses just to win a title. If that was his go he would have been champion trainer at least once a long time ago. But this season's success is the very result of this patient policy. How many times had it been written in Mark Your Card over the previous couple of campaigns that here was yet another Wong Tang-ping-trained horse to look out for over the coming months.
Well those promising runs have all come together and Ping has a stable packed full of well handicapped horses that still have plenty of miles left on the clock. And many of those that won earlier in the season are beginning to slip back down to an attractive mark. The bizarrely named gelding, Miss Piggy, is a particular case in point. He dashed home late to win well under Simon 'Hong Kong' Yim early in the term, then went into the doldrums only to run much better last time out. Since then his work has picked up noticeably. He went promisingly in a very strong hitout with stablemate, Northern Fire Ball, on Tuesday morning and repeated that when coming through a cracking last 400 metres yesterday in 23.6 seconds in company with Prince Baikal.
It was the kind of work from Miss Piggy which more than hinted at another success around 1,800 metres before the curtain falls on June 11. Other horses to work pleasingly from the Ping stable included the sprinter, Great Dancer and the ultra consistent Star Of Marble who is holding his form remarkably well.
Indeed, it is tempting to say that he is working better than ever. John Moore is in a similar position to Ping in the trainer standings, even if he is in the doghouse with his fellow trainers for being the only one not to show his solidarity for Kenny Kam who failed to win back his licence to train next season. Moore, like Ping, is a great placer of his horses, probably the best in the territory though don't underestimate Gary Ng Ting-keung in this respect either, he knows which races are ideal for each horse he trains. Win Label appears to have been set by Moore for a mile event on the all-weather Sha Tin surface next Wednesday. It is the first time he's back in Class Three and remember the last time he contested a mile event on the dirt he was unlucky to run a short head second to Bogie's Pride who went on to win the Classic Trial.
Yesterday, Win Label showed he will be spot-on come Wednesday when breezing through 1,200 metres in a very easy one minute 21.3 under Alan Munro who is coming in for more and more rides from this quarter. Lucky Express, a good winner of the first of two barrier trials yesterday morning, will be one of Win Label's main opponents next week.