Bright return for Yiu's Dull Lead
THE big plunge went horribly wrong at his previous start but the Ricky Yiu-trained Dull Lead (16-1) earned connections worthy recompense with a stylish breakthrough victory yesterday.
The three-year-old grey gelding was heavily supported at his last outing, also in Class Four over the Sha Tin mile, when a disappointing 10th of 13 back on January 9.
With that much smoke around there had to be some fire in this youngster and Yiu's talented stable jockey Steven King was just the man to stoke it.
King didn't panic when Dull Lead dwelt slightly at the start, allowing him to find his feet before taking closer order down the back.
With the aid of blinkers for the first time, he settled well before King asked the question at the 400-metre mark.
Dull Lead was sent in pursuit of tearaway New Asians (3.7-1) and he gathered in the favourite and stuck on well to score by a half-length, with early leader Take Off (15-1) holding on gamely for third under David Harrison.
This looked a fairly hot Class Four contest and Dull Lead should buck the trend and successfully negotiate the promotion to Class Three.
Prolific British champion jockey Kieren Fallon kept his name up in lights with a second successive victory aboard the dour Surprise Surprise (14-1) for English trainer David Oughton.
The Irish ace is at his best in these staying contests and he let the seven-year-old son of Alzao amble along at the tail of the field before setting him alight out wide in the straight.
Surprise Surprise out-slugged the Peter Ho-prepared Dynamic Tension (11-1) in the final stages and held on by a short-head with 2.5 lengths back to second favourite Brilliant Leader.
Fallon has had a string of back-to-back wins in his short stint as a Club Jockey and he is a hard man to leave out of calculations.
This was a much harder assignment for Surprise Surprise but Fallon sized up the race brilliantly and although the finish was tight, the outcome never looked in doubt.