Winning Partners in return to racetrack
Former Hong Kong International Bowl winner Winning Partners, who ran his final local race last November, makes a surprise re-appearance in Sydney today - at the age of 10.
The one-time champion sprinter was retired to Australia after running ninth to Fastest Star in the Happy Valley Trophy on November 12 last year.
He went to the man who guided him to his greatest Hong Kong successes, respected trainer Neville Begg.
It was Begg who masterminded Winning Partners' epic success in the 1993 International Bowl when the gelding was ridden by Michael Kinane. Winning Partners also ran unplaced in the Yasuda Kinen in Japan but was a prolific local winner, although his later career was plagued by leg problems.
Winning Partners is now trained by Graham Begg, who won the Bowl in successive years with Monopolize, and he is now hoping for a fairytale return to racing for the veteran sprinter, who was the star of his father's Sha Tin stable.
It's been eight years since Winning Partners raced in Australia.
The Take Your Partner gelding, who raced in his early career as In The Cards, was ridden by now retired Ron Quinton to a brilliant win over 1,100 metres at Gosford, north of Sydney. In the third race at Rosehill in Sydney today, Winning Partners tackles that same 1,100-metre trip with jockey Danny Beasley up.
He will carry 121 pounds in a special AWA Series Quality Handicap and is quoted at 10-1 in the overnight betting market.
Winning Partners had trialled at Warwick Farm recently in preparation for his surprise return to racing action. Connections of the veteran speedster were hopeful about his chances.
The appeal of jockey Victor C. F. Chan against his nine-day suspension on a running and riding charge will be held on Wednesday.