Hall has his day with lower graders
Trainer David Hall had to take a back seat in the big events on yesterday's programme but he managed to keep himself on the lips of punters by delivering a double - but what they were saying about him is anyone's guess.
Hall saddled up the world's highest-rated sprinter Absolute Champion, in the Group Three sprint and had to settle for a fast-finishing fourth, then had Egyptian Ra leading the way for much of the Sha Tin Trophy before just missing out on second in a tight photo, but the day worked out a winner at the lesser end of things.
Glen Boss steered home 27-1 chance Namjong Goodluck to blow out well-backed Dash in the opening race on the dirt before smart sprinter Tchaikovsky (Brett Prebble) turned the clock back to win at over 41-1 in the eighth event in his first victory in over two years.
'I actually wasn't that surprised that he ran well because I don't think he's been so free in his action as he is now since I've had him,' Hall said. 'All last season, we had niggling problems, troubles with his feet, but at the moment, I told his owner [Sidney Chiu Yung-sit] before the race, he's very comfortable and stretching out. The race panned out beautifully for him and Brett said he knew he'd win as soon as Tchaikovsky flew the start and got over from the outside gate. There didn't look to be that much pace in it but usually when it looks that way on paper you get a few kick up because of it, but he was able to cross easily.'
While Tchaikovsky has been, perhaps not to the top of the tree but at least to a vantage point where one could glimpse it, no one is expecting anything like that from Namjong Goodluck.
But he is nevertheless paying his way since the move to Hall, and his Tate's Cairn Handicap victory was the gelding's third from 13 attempts.
'Look, he's no star but he's racing well within his limitations and the owners are great supporters of racing who put plenty in and deserve to get their winners,' Hall said.
'I asked Glen to give Namjong Goodluck a bit of a kick out of the stalls today from barrier one and use it because the horse doesn't have enough weapons not to take advantage of it when you get the inside draw.
'He's ended up with the perfect run and OK, if you run the race 10 times you may get 10 different winners, but he got the luck and got the win today. It was his turn.'