Yiu discovers an asset in Fradd
It is not an easy task for a trainer to find a stable rider to fit into the cauldron of Hong Kong racing.
And when that trainer is retaining a jockey for the first time, the pitfalls are even more so.
But, if early indications are anything to go by, Ricky Yiu is on a winner with South African Robbie Fradd.
The partnership broke the ice at the opening meeting on Saturday with the promising Interstar and judging by the way a few of his team strode out at trackwork yesterday, there are many more wins in store.
Heading them was the lightly-raced Authorised, a recent addition to the stable. The three-year-old looked fit dashing over his last quarter (22.9) with stablemate Way Ahead in readiness for an engagement this Saturday.
One worry with the gelding is his unruly behaviour at the barriers which saw him withdrawn from a race at the end of last season when he got his hind legs over the back doors.
However, he appeared to be over his barrier problems when trialling nicely behind The Oscars two weeks ago and he does look forward enough to go well at his first time of asking.
Yiu also has some promising youngsters in Class Four and, in keeping with the increasing trend among local trainers, a number of these were not sent to the races last season.
Two New Zealand-bred three-year-olds in Full Throttle and Winning Stride jumped from the gates in the back straight yesterday and, although not asked to make time, there was a fluency in their work that suggested they will be winning races before long.
They were allowed to dawdle the first 400 metres before dashing home the last quarter in 24.9 seconds and they are two to keep an eye on for later in the season, as are Daring Steed and Bullish.
These last-term griffins went together over 800 metres with the last 400 metres in 24.1 seconds unextended.
And Yiu must have high hopes for his progressive four-year-old Multi-Star, winner of the Flyaway Cup at the final meeting of last season. The strong-looking son of Grosvenor has been brought along patiently this term but looked eager to go faster at the end of a 1,200-metre gallop with Feel Legend, another promising member of the team.
David Hayes has been widely touted as the winner of this season's trainers' race and although the cupboard was bare on Saturday night, several of his stable looked ready to get the yard on the board.
Golden Mascot did win at the last meeting last term and will start this season on a higher rating, but there was no mistaking his fitness as he dashed away from Jacqwin at the end of their gallop, stopping the clock at 22.5 seconds for the final quarter.