Whyte increases the odds of reaching first century in a season
An early pair for champion jockey Douglas Whyte at yesterday's meeting kept the first Hong Kong century alive as he moved the equation for the first time to less than a winner a meeting required.
Whyte threatened to take all the thrill out of his pursuit of the ton when he took out the second on Tri Magic and the third for Ivan Allan on Wiki Wiki, but the Demon had to settle for meagre pickings through the remainder of the afternoon. Only his final mount, Keep On Easy, could manage a place.
Heading for his fourth successive championship, Whyte went to 94 wins, needing two for 600 Hong Kong victories and now six in seven meetings to reach 100 wins in a Hong Kong season.
Wiki Wiki may never rank highly amongst Whyte's career wins but he did the job to take a moderate dirt contest at his fourth start. 'He's small and weak but he probably does have some scope to him if he can settle down and strengthen a bit,' Whyte said.
'He was OK today considering I set him alight a little bit early. His was the first of the dirt races and I felt it would be an all-weather track today where the leaders wouldn't come back too much. Happily I read it correctly.
'That was why I sent him clear when I did and probably looking at the race that was the difference - I think Fantastic Horse would probably have run him down if I hadn't set up the break.'
Trainer Allan later bagged a double himself with Cornwall Chiefs (Alex Yu Kin-shing) excelling over the 2,400-metre trip to take the sixth race under top weight of 133 pounds.
Like everyone else, Whyte was impressed with debutant winner Tri Magic in the second for Leung but was putting the brakes on any lofty expectations.
'I think he will definitely be competitive into Class Three but after that we'll see how he progresses,' Whyte said. 'I'd ridden him once in a trial and he went nicely for me on that occasion. There had been some thought of putting him in a shorter race but I thought the 1,400 metres might be better for him first-up.
'I was able to use the bit of speed that fortunately he has and he settled well outside the leader today, which was a bit of an advantage out there today. He picked up well when I asked him and you'd have to say he did everything in good style, but bear in mind it wasn't a very strong race.'
Whyte sees Tri Magic's future over longer trips: 'He'll get over 1,600 metres this season and I'm sure later he will get even longer.'