Brown rebounds following another setback
Australian jockey Corey Brown bounced back from an ugly trackwork accident in yesterday's barrier trial session and is also determined to bounce back from the Hong Kong Jockey Club's licensing committee's decision not to grant him an extension to his Club Jockey contract.
Brown was thrown out the back of the stalls, landing painfully on his back and bruising his neck, when his intended mount in the fifth of the six heats, Eternal Fun, reared.
It looked a potentially dangerous spill but Brown, who was badly winded, was as right as rain come yesterday afternoon. He said: 'He reared right up in the stalls. I hurt my neck as I landed and it knocked the wind right out of me for a few seconds but there's no damage and no danger of me missing any rides.'
Brown's current Club Jockey licence expires on March 25. The licensing committee on Monday decided, at this stage, not to grant him an extension to the end of the season, though they did grant extensions to Eric Saint-Martin and Steven King.
Brown went on: 'I've feel I've done all right here and really enjoy the racing. I will be trying to get a kick along in the next couple of months and ride as many winners as I can so I can re-submit my application.
'My eyes are still firmly on Hong Kong. I'd much prefer to keep riding here but if I did go home there wouldn't be any bad feelings. My contract was due to end in March anyway and if I don't ride winners I will go home.'
Brown, 24, has had a prolific association with John Hawkes' powerful Sydney stable ever since he was an apprentice. He added: 'I know I will always be able to slot back in and ride a number for him.'
In the trials, five of which were down the Sha Tin 1,000-metre chute, Peter Ng Bik-kuen's speedster Expedient again blitzed to victory. He made all in the fourth heat and has had plenty of excuses so far this season.
Ricky Yiu Poon-fie's last-start winner Exceptional confirmed his well-being when staying on strongly to take the second while Kudos looked well prior to the fourth and came through late to win by a head from Lawrie Fownes' Smiling Forest. Kudos' trainer Andy Leung Ting-wah was also on the mark in the mile heat with Century Horse.
High Sky, a habitually good worker, took the Eternal Fun trial in which Derek Cruz's youngster Operation Humour underlined he's going the right way. Derek Cruz's griffin Smart Winner dominated the opening heat and goes nicely.
First trial _ 1,000m: 1, SMART WINNER (S. King); 2, Masterpiece (D. Whyte); 3, Sweetheart Junior (Y. T. Cheng). Others (in finishing order): Luckswell, Eye's Magic, A099, Rich Star, Bueno Bueno, A126, My Joy, Sing-Along, Glory Hero, Don't Make A Ccene, Wonderful Life. Time: 0:58.9 (23.2). Distances: 4 lengths, 2.5 length. Winner trained by Derek Cruz.
Second trial _ 1,000m: 1, Exceptional (C. H. Tse); 2, Sunny (Y. T. Cheng); 3, Partiking (D. Whyte). Others (in finishing order): Indubitably Bliss, Ever Glory, My Heart, Wavy Wave, Chief Ivor, Twinkling Star, Quick Step, Bruin Supreme, Mission Possible, Smart Money, Healthy Star. Time: 0:59.5 (23.6). Distances: 1 length, .5 length. Winner trained by P. F. Yiu.
Third trial _ 1,000m: 1, Expedient (E. Legrix); 2, Fibber (M. De Montfort); 3, Thank Heavens (C. Brown). Others (in finishing order): Fortune Sallian, Top Light, Never Say Never, Special, Cogito, Kookaburra, Viper Corp, Smart Kid, Industrial Pioneer. Time: 0:58.2 (23.0). Distances: 4 lengths, head. Winner trained by B. K. Ng.
Fourth trial _ 1,000m: 1, Kudos (M. De Montfort); 2, Smiling Forest (W. Woods); 3, Pretty Baby (W. M. Lai). Others (in finishing order): Star Of Hong Kong, Gentle Giant, Hokkien All, Prime Vain, True Hero, New Planet, Rain Wood Lane, Fortune Express, Desert Storm, Charlie's Angel, Fortune Star. Time: 0.59.1 (23.0). Distances: Neck, 3 lengths. Winner trained by T. W. Leung.
Fifth trial _ 1,000m: 1, High Sky (W. M. Lai); 2, Sweetheart (E. Legrix); 3, Sight First (M. De Montfort). Others (in finishing order): Operation Humour, King Confident, Classic Master, A063, Mascot Treasure, Star Dragon, Winning King, Holy Ranto, Indy's Gem, Camaraderie, Eternal Fun. Time: 0:59.3 (23.1). Distances: 1 length, 1 length. Winner trained by P. F. Yiu.
Sixth trial _ 1,600m: 1, Century Horse (M. De Montfort); 2, Mighty Dragon (E. St-Martin); 3, Magnifier (C. H. Tse). Others (in finishing order): Fortune Glory, Cupid, Glyndebourne, Par Avion, Kingdom Of Gold, Nature's Treasure, Mr Chilli. Time: 1.38.5 (25.2). Distances: Hed, .5 length. Winner trained by T. W. Leung.