Multo Expresso shows off winning ways
By his own admission, trainer David Hall wasn't expecting to see anything much from his Northern Hemisphere-bred griffin Multo Expresso this season - but then attitude takes a horse a long way.
The three-year-old received a charmed ride from Brett Prebble yesterday to score at just his second race start and brought a reminder of Hong Kong racing's 'good old days' to a lacklustre meeting.
'He was actually bought for the owner by his very good friend, the former chief executive of the Jockey Club, General Guy Watkins,' Hall said.
'I must say I looked at him and thought he was a typical slower maturing UK-bred who I certainly didn't expect to be standing here with a win on the board so early.
'When he first trialed, his legs were all over the place, he didn't really know what he was doing and he looked like he was going to take time.'
But when Hall asked the youngster for something, he found Multo Expresso willing to respond and the bay simply improved every time he stepped out of his box.
'He may not have been a natural, but he slowly picked up the idea of what racing's about and he decided that he liked it,' Hall said.
'I've got a bit of time for him because he wants to be a racehorse - he does want to do it and that counts for a lot. I was quietly confident that he would be comfortable in the softer ground today and Brett gave him a great ride.'
Prebble's effort certainly would have surprised one of his major rivals, Douglas Whyte, who drew gate two on the favourite Three Clubs but soon found Multo Expresso somehow positioned on his inside from gate nine.
'The race panned out well,' said Prebble. 'It wasn't planned to ride him the way I did - I would have liked to go forward - but they were just going a bit quick for him.
'I decided I'd try to drop in behind and find the fence and then I was able to rail up under them. When we got to the straight, I've come into it running third on the fence and then Modesty kicked which gave me plenty of room to come out from behind him.
'I thought he'd run well today when I got on him - he felt good, bouncing, and it's a big bonus to go out on these young horses when they're fit and feeling well because all they know is to go and run.'
Hall said he expected natural improvement from Multo Expresso next season with more maturity and further ground.