San Lorenzo finding the going good in the shades
It is hardly a new story, but San Lorenzo has become just another horse to find himself and improve out of sight once blinkers went on.
Champion jockey Douglas Whyte's lone winner on the card, San Lorenzo made it three from three in the shades that have been the making of the Dennis Yip Chor-hong-trained four-year-old.
'When he was beaten a couple of times in his early runs as favourite, that was immaturity,' Whyte said. 'But Dennis recognised the horse needed the blinkers and they have changed him. San Lorenzo is thriving on his racing now, and when we turned for home today, he really wanted to race.'
San Lorenzo drew away to win easily over main rival Scintillation and lay the foundation for a fourth win next start, but it won't be next week.
'He loves having his runs spaced like this and it's paying dividends keeping him fresh. Dennis is doing a terrific job with him. He looks a very progressive horse,' Whyte said.
Apprentice Jacky Tong Chi-kit had a sweet-and-sour afternoon at Sha Tin, receiving an award early in the day but leaving the course with an adjourned inquiry hanging over his head.
Tong was presented with the award for outstanding performance by an apprentice during the period from September to January, with his parents invited to be part of the ceremony in the parade yard after the opening race.
The downside of his day came later, with stewards inquiring into incidents in the seventh race at the 700 metres and again at the 300 metres, but the hearing was adjourned as Tong's allocated trainer, Ivan Allan, had left the course.
Derek Cruz-trained Speeding Molly (Glyn Schofield) has gone from strength to strength since he was lifted to longer distances in November.
A maiden to that time, Speeding Molly made it two wins on end as he sprinted away with the sixth yesterday over the Sha Tin mile and gave promise that it might not be over yet.
'He always needed a bit more distance but we were very patient with him last season,' Cruz said. 'He's only a small horse and wasn't ready to step up to the mile so I didn't rush him and it's showing in his results now. He's a real little fighter.'
Surely Alex Wong Siu-tan will find an extra carrot for Fat Chance if the trainer squeaks through to reach the Jockey Club's performance criteria by season's end.
Wong needs 13 wins to reach the minimum standard laid out by the club and is under pressure to do so at this stage, but it certainly is no fault of Fat Chance, who has made a 100 per cent contribution to the yard's fortunes.
Ridden by Anton Marcus yesterday, the gelding stormed home in typical style over the dirt 1,800 metres to rack up his fourth win for the season yesterday and bring Wong's tally to four also.