Kan's protege racks up double century
The old boss Brian Kan Ping-chee would certainly have been proud as his protege, Dennis Yip Chor-hong, racked up his 200th winner on yesterday's Sha Tin programme and then advanced to 201 in double-quick time.
Yip, who was assistant trainer to five-time champion Kan during his glory years, has been true to the old master's training methods and has now leapfrogged Tony Cruz to be third on the trainers' table behind Caspar Fownes (56) and Paul O'Sullivan (49) with 45 winners.
'I'm very happy to pass this milestone today,' said Yip after Leader, ridden by Howard Cheng Yue-tin, capitalised on all the breaks of the race to win the Kowloon City Handicap (1,400m) for Class Four horses.
'When he won his Class Five at Happy Valley, I thought that was a very lucky win, but he's trained on quite nicely since then and been getting stronger all the time. I think next season, he may even be able to win over further than today's 1,400 metres.'
When Yip claimed his second winner, with a race seven upset by Sound Of Silence, Yip said the key factor had been the slower pace.
'This is really his best distance, 1,400 metres, because he doesn't quite get the mile,' Yip said.
'But last start they really turned the pace on and that dragged the energy out of him. Today, back in distance and with a slower pace, he was much happier.'
Gary Ng Ting-keung knew he had the class angle covered and was prepared to gamble that the all-weather track wouldn't be a negative with his underrated grey sprinter Royal Pericles.
The Stravinsky gelding had raced eight times since arriving from New Zealand but Ng took heart that his second to emerging star Medic Power would make him good enough to win the Choi Hung Handicap.
'The way Medic Power has progressed since then, I knew he was good enough to win today,' Ng explained.
'I wasn't entirely sure about whether he'd be as good on the dirt as he was on the turf, but we decided to take our chance.'
With Eddie Lai Wai-ming riding confidently, a blinkered Royal Pericles easily cleared the field from barrier 12 in the early stages and never looked a loser, ultimately defeating the John Size-trained Liberal's Knight by 11/2 lengths.
Number of winners Dennis Yip (below with wife) has landed after his double 201