Yu joins big boys after double
Boom apprentice Alex Yu has arrived.
The question now is whether the talented youngster can hold his own in the senior ranks after outriding his claim on the back of yesterday's slashing 286-1 double.
Yu lifted the featured Chevalier Cup (1,600 metres) aboard the Andy T.W. Leung-trained Colourful Era (22-1) and was back in the winner's circle some 30 minutes later as the versatile Golden Choice (13-1) out-dashed his rivals down the 1,000-metre chute.
Fellow local freelance riders Eddie Lai and Jimmy Ting have struggled to secure quality rides and it is to be hoped that Yu is not forgotten now that he has to compete on a level playing field.
It was Golden Choice that notched career victory 55 for Yu, who celebrates his 22nd birthday on Sunday.
He is the middle child of the Yu family trio which includes older sister Carol and brother Roger.
Roger is considered the most naturally gifted of the triumvirate but his many run-ins with the stipendiary stewards have cost him lengthy spells on the sidelines.
But Alex also has his admirers and they were royally rewarded for their loyalty yesterday as Colourful Era - solidly supported each-way from an opening quote of 28-1 - gave his higher-rated rivals a galloping clinic.
The five-year-old International Sale graduate has been a great money-spinner for connections, this fifth career success tipping his earnings over the $3.5-million mark. He has won from 1,000 metres to 1,400 and is yet to be tried over the testing Sha Tin mile.
But trainer Leung was clearly confident the Irish-bred gelding would cope.
And cope he did, sitting three deep close to the speed before galloping away to a decisive, if narrow, win over impressive debutant Survey General (9.6-1).
The runner-up is an Italian import and trainer John Moore will have been delighted with the way the three-year-old colt closed off under leading pilot Robbie Fradd. The reports from the track have been glowing and Survey General looks a name to remember.
Peter Ng Bik-kuen's Golden Choice was also having his first attempt at a new trip when stalking the pacesetters before finishing late and wide to take the Class Three minimum sprint.
Golden Choice arrived just in time to deny Woodside Park (21-1) an unlikely victory at his first run after a light let-up.