It's business as usual for Kinane with 30-1 double
By ROBIN PARKE
HE hasn't been out of the headlines for a week and Irish champion Mick Kinane was hot news again yesterday with a 30-1 double at Sha Tin underlining the benefits Hongkong racing will enjoy by his decision to turn down Sheik Mohammed.
Kinane conjured an amazing third win out of topweight Bad Habit (6-1) in the opening event and followed it up with a fiercely determined ride on Face The Odds (5-1) in the seventh.
Both winners were trained by David Oughton whose association with Kinane has been one of the features of the present season and a major reason for the 33-year-old Irish ace turning down the chance to be Sheik Mohammed's number one rider. .
Kinane, still fighting off the effects of a virus, finished fourth in the final event on smart youngster Highland Laddie (7-2 favourite) and there will be a win soon from this fellow.
The double put Kinane on the 15-winner mark. ''The best thing about it really is the fact that the stable is so obviously getting over the virus and coming into form,'' he said, referring to the equine epidemic which closed down Hongkong racing last year.
''Bad Habit is a good example of a horse who has found out that he likes racing because he's won. They went at a good clip today and I was able to sit him in behind and he liked it.
''Last time we were caught wide and he was bumped here and there and just got sick of it. He didn't finish that far away last time despite really chucking it in over the last bit. But today it was just right for him and he came home very solidly.'' Bad Habit burst through in the final 100 metres to win comfortably from 25-1 chance Cloud Seven, ridden by Patrick Biancone's stable apprentice, Simon H. K. Yim, with Copper Red (30-1) finishing third.
Hot-pots Family Of Wah Yuen (2-1 favourite) and Rocketeer (3-1) finished sixth and last respectively in the Class Four, 1,400-metre event and there were no excuses.
Oughton had Face The Odds turned out in perfect trim for the Class Three, 1,600-metre event and the former English handicapper clearly appreciated the drop back in distance.
Kinane let the five-year-old settle and brought him into the race smoothly at the top of the straight - and then drove him right out in a demanding finish, just getting the better of Ka Fook (9-2) by a neck.
''It was a game win, he gave everything he had,'' summed up Kinane.
Trainer Bruce Hutchison had no reason to complain about the performance of Ka Fook, back to form after a gelding operation.
''He has had quite a break from training and this was a most encouraging run. His fitness tended to tell but I am very pleased with the way he went,'' said Hutchison.
There is no doubt Ka Fook will win a couple of good races. He is solid staying material as he showed with his defeat of Northern Fire Ball earlier in the season and he is going to have a 1,800-metre event at his mercy shortly.
Punters wading into the Biacone-trained debutant Sir Rodmor (3-1 favourite) got their fingers severely burned as the horse beat only two home.
Fortune Way (10-1), with John Marshall deputising for the indisposed Darren Gauci, finished third but was never going to be any closer.
The final event went to Top News (10-1), giving former champion trainer Brian Kan Ping-chee and South African Felix Coetzee a welcome win.
Top News made all in the Class Four, 1,400-metre event and clearly the blinkers applied for the first time made all the difference. He had more than three lengths to spare on the line from Be Happy (7-2).
Highland Laddie (7-2 favourite) could not go the pace but came home well for fourth.