Wong finally gets taste of success
Alex Wong Siu-tan breathed a sigh of relief after finally ending his drought for the season when Lucky Superstar landed the final race of the night. 'It's been a long time,' Wong said after breaking his duck at the 116th attempt, 'and that final furlong seemed as if it would go on for ever. I don't think I've ever had a run like this one.'
Asked how he felt as his long losing sequence built up, Wong said: 'Irritated. But I must thank Lucky Superstar's owner for being so patient with this horse. I always knew he had ability, but he has been green in his races and needed time. He is a very nice horse in the making.'
Punters showed they had not lost faith in Wong as they sent off Lucky Superstar a well-supported favourite at under 2-1 following a near-miss on his previous start. And jockey Simon Yim looked almost as happy as the winning trainer after coming out on top in a stretch-long battle with French Connection in the 1,650-metre event. Yim had to cover plenty of ground around the turn to get into contention, but his mount proved the stronger to land the spoils by three-quarters of a length.
Anton Marcus was another satisfied jockey after moving into double figures for the season with victory in the fifth race aboard Back Seat Driver, who completed a double for trainer Andy Leung Ting-wah.
It was Marcus' last night of competition before he starts another suspension for careless riding, but he said: 'I'm delighted with the win. It's a pity I've had to miss 13 meetings in all because of suspension, but I suppose I only have myself to blame.
'I really enjoy riding here and I'd love to have at least one more winner before my contract ends. I've worked it out and I have 10 races left.'
Marcus was able to take the initiative in the 1,000-metre race on Back Seat Driver, who had been off the track for more than seven months. 'I had a good draw and it played into my hands that Bold'N Power missed the break from the gate inside me. He might have led if he had jumped better, but as it was I was able to get to the fence and dictate. Back Seat Driver has plenty of ability and I reckon that made the difference in the end because he wasn't top fit.'
Leung, whose string has been showing signs of coming into form, had caused a surprise earlier when Gold Flask took the second race under Eric Legrix at odds of 15-1. The double took the trainer on to the eight-winner mark for the season.