Oughton has it Figured
UNDERRATED Made To Figure produced a dazzling display to win the featured Ladies' Purse in front of a festive crowd of 69,561 at Sha Tin yesterday.
The David Oughton-trained four-year-old (10-1) will enhance his rating of 103 with a record-breaking display over 1,400 metres where he established a new mark of 1:21.4.
He will now be knocking on the door of International Races recognition, but the Pips Pride gelding is entered for the inaugural Hong Kong Sprint which, on paper, seems a tough assignment.
But it could scarcely have been easier for jockey Douglas Whyte yesterday as Made To Figure bolted away to easily hold off the challenge of 3-1 favourite Kenwood Melody.
The Australian Group class winner, under a demanding Basil Marcus, did his best in the last 250 metres, but, if anything, Made To Figure was going away on the line.
Whyte was impressed, saying: 'We were perfectly drawn and it made a lot of difference. He also seemed just right for the race and he really did answer up very well in the straight.
'We were going so well, I knew we would be there. It was a solid win.' Watch out for fourth-placed Industrialist (35-1). Trainer Brian Kan Ping-chee has got his hands on a good type and he will be winning more than a race or two with this former Group-placed English galloper.
Wendyll Woods, on Winning Scene (25-1), was stood down for three days for careless riding as he was adjudged to have caused crowding, but it did not totally dampen a good afternoon for the popular English rider.
One of the day's more impressive efforts was the win of Chiu Shan Glory (7-2 favourite) in the Class Three ninth event.
Woods was drawn in 14 but managed to find some cover before pulling the four-year-old out in the straight for a surging run to the line. He easily held off Northern Flyer (9-2).
Trainer Lawrie Fownes said: 'He had a couple of minor problems earlier in the season but he ran nicely first up and has come on.
'He's a good type of horse and I have to be more than hopeful he will go on from this.' A race earlier, trainer David Hill combined with Australian jockey Glen Boss to land Dollars And Sense (6-1) a hard-fought winner of the Class Four, 1,400-metre event.
The form around the winner was solid but it was a desperate last-stride win over the Woods-ridden Stoic (10-1) with a dead-heat between Full Throttle (8-1) and Top Fit (20-1) for third. The margins were a short head and the same.
Hill said: 'I have a bit of an opinion of the horse and the way Sparky won for Lawrie [Fownes] on Wednesday night at the Valley boosted confidence for this one.
'We weren't that far away from Sparky last time down the 1,000 metres and Dollars And Sense needed longer than that.' The race was at the mercy of a good young horse as the form of the rest of the field was fairly fully exposed. Favourite Simon's Decision (4-1), who has had many chances, finished unplaced.
French jockey Freddie Sanchez has had a roller-coaster career in Hong Kong since the day he arrived - on and off the track.
He's gone from being a Club jockey to a retained rider, switched retainers and is now back with a Club licence until the end of January.
Sanchez produced a last-stride effort on Speedy Dragon (5-1) to land the second event on the all-weather track.