Yiu's Sacred Kingdom looks too classy

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 December, 2006, 12:00am

Ricky Yiu Poon-fie has started the new season in brilliant form and is the trainer charged with the responsibility of winning with the shortest-priced favourite of the afternoon at Sha Tin today - Sacred Kingdom in race seven.

The Encosta De Lago gelding could not have been more impressive in scoring first-up down the Sha Tin straight on December 2, and looks a youngster who will make a quick march through the rankings.

He certainly made an impression on the handicappers, as not too many winners get penalised 12 pounds like this fellow was.

But the wise men of the handicapping panel should be well and truly vindicated in their assessment, according to early players, who have backed Sacred Kingdom into a $17 favourite.

Yiu had a very indifferent 2005-06 season, landing just 10 winners from 202 runners and therefore not meeting the Jockey Club's minimum qualifying benchmark of 13.

When that happens, the licensing committee asks for a 'please explain' and issue a warning that repetition of such performance levels could put the trainer's licence in jeopardy.

Yiu certainly didn't want that to happen and hit the ground running in the new term, winning three quickly with veteran Flying Bishop.

The trainer currently has seven winners but that's been achieved from just 52 runners, at a very solid strike-rate of 13.5 per cent.

Yiu has another strong contender in Deflect (Brett Prebble), a $73 chance on overnight markets for the third event, the Class Five over 1,800 metres.