Superior return surprises fans - but not Ho
Trainer Peter Ho put it down to freshness and time but punters were floored when Superior Title bounced back from a bleeding attack to win the opening contest at Happy Valley last night. The gelding had been off the scene since he tailed out on the all-weather in October, but many horsemen agree that a horse will usually run well first time up after bleeding.
'Yes, that is true, but only if they have plenty of time to get over the incident,' Ho said. 'This horse has been perfect in all his lead-up work since he came back. He has given no indication he might bleed again.'
Superior Title pushed apprentice Vincent Sit to within three wins of outriding his allowance when he swept through on the inside to score at better than 40-1. 'The other horses in this race have been racing all season. They have probably done all they can do,' Ho said.
'My horse was coming in very fresh after his break and he had a few other things going for him. He trialled very well here recently, he got a good run through the race and with the jar out of the ground tonight, he was more comfortable then when the tracks are very hard.'
Peter Chapple-Hyam and Howard Cheng combined in the second to win with The Best Winner in similar fashion to the first, running on near the rail. It was The Best Winner's second run since joining Chapple-Hyam's yard and was indicative of the upturn in the trainer's fortunes of late, protests aside.
'I haven't done anything special with him, probably nothing different to how David Hill was training him,' Chapple-Hyam said. 'But the horse has gone along well and looked good. That's his second win at 1,650m here but I would like to try him over a bit further, an 1,800m here would be ideal.'
While Anton Marcus wasn't celebrating by the end of the meeting after copping a careless riding ban, he had his moment in the sun, winning with the John Moore-trained Sky Hawk in race three. 'Anton was very confident this horse would run well tonight,' Moore said.
'Certainly his work has been very good. He is a seven-year-old and he probably wasn't out of turn to win again but I have done a few things a bit differently with him, changed his training routine and he seems to have appreciated it.'