Fortune smiles on King at long last

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 November, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 November, 1999, 12:00am

IT'S been a grim start to the campaign for Steven King but yesterday's winning double will go a long way towards changing that for the gifted Australian pilot.

King, who went into yesterday's fixture with just two winners from 77 rides, struck aboard Fortune Sallian (9.7-1) in the Class Five third event and then rounded things off when Electronic Unicorn (11-1) arrived late and wide to lift the Class Three finale.

Both victories were for retaining trainer Ricky Yiu, who did so well to finish a close-up third in last season's trainers' title.

But pickings have been lean in the opening two months this time around and King will be delighted to have doubled his strike rate in one afternoon at the office.

The stable's horses are generally running very well - Fairy King Prawn, Top Racer and Kiwi Star all showed great resolve yesterday - and it's just a matter of time before things turn around for this star pairing.

And there are few better riders around when one is ready than the Melbourne Cup-winning King.

He has great poise and a tactical head to match and both those qualities were to the fore as three-year-old Fortune Sallian scored a dominant breakthrough success in what was a highly competitive lower-grade affair. King got over to be three back on the fence in the run and they looked the ones to beat as far as 600 metres from home. Once clear of heels, Fortune Sallian picked up brilliantly and was never troubled on his way to a narrow but decisive victory.

And there will be plenty more where that came from as this son of Salieri still has a stack of improvement in him.

Electronic Unicorn is another useful Yiu youngster and he came with a blistering late flourish to steal the prize from the plucky Golden Choice (27-1) in what was a graveyard for the market leaders.

Electronic Unicorn was having only his third race start and it showed, but there is a lot of potential in this Housebuster gelding who Yiu is yet to get to the bottom of.

Elsewhere, underrated colt Winning Boy (24-1) and jockey Eddie Lai gave trainer Chris Cheung Ting-pong his third winner of the season when racing wide the whole trip and finishing off strongly to beat the wayward New Trumps (2.9-1) in the Class Three sixth event over 1,400 metres.

This was the International Sale graduate's second win from four starts this term and he looks one to keep on side as the season progresses.

Tim Pratt