Hong Kong Mile

Prebble gives Soumillon a jovial tongue-lashing over poor whip choice

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 January, 2008, 12:00am

Brett Prebble made no apologies for his 'serves you right' comment to Christophe Soumillon after he'd won the battle of strength with the Belgian riding ace on board the David Hall-trained Bold Win.

Soumillon said he was coming to win the race on the John Size-trained topweight All Chances when his whip snapped in half, taking away valuable momentum and leaving him a short head behind Prebble and Bold Win when the judge called a halt.

Prebble, apart from being one of the best jockeys in town, also has a side business in producing top-quality riding gear and the former Melbourne champion 'guaranteed' his Persuader brand whip would not buckle under pressure.

'Christophe has a couple of my Persuaders and I don't know the reason why he wasn't using one in that race,' Prebble chuckled.

'Anyway, serves him right. If you're not going to use the best you deserve what you get. The fiberglass we use is top-grade and it does not break,' he said.

On Bold Win, who paid $109.50 for the win, Prebble said he was delighted to finally win a race for owner Keith Hsu Kai-foo after four years of trying.

'Keith is a terrific man and you wouldn't believe the circumstances that have cropped up to stop me winning one for him,' Prebble said. 'Just when one of his horses is ready to win, I would get suspended and miss the ride.

'Anyway, it might have taken four years but we've finally arrived.'

The Duke bade farewell to Sha Tin yesterday and will soon be grazing in a luxurious green paddock at one of the prime stud properties on the north island of New Zealand.

Trainer Caspar Fownes said the eight-year-old had been a 'wonderful servant' for both himself and his father, retired trainer Lawrie Fownes, before him.

'We'll miss him, of course,' Fownes said. 'He's been a wonderful horse to us and gave his owner Eddie Yau a lot of fun - a real once-in-a-lifetime horse for any owner.'

The Duke, yet another Hong Kong International Sale graduate, raced 62 times for 10 wins, 13 seconds and nine thirds, and earned HK$31.3 million in prize money. His major win was the 2006 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile, in which he narrowly defeated Armada.

There is never a happier winner than Olivier Doleuze and the flamboyant Frenchman celebrated a Sha Tin double yesterday, taking particular satisfaction at the victory of Cheerful Happiness, trained by Andy Leung Ting-wah, in the afternoon opener.

'He's a funny horse,' Doleuze said. 'If he turns it on, he certainly had the ability. Andy agreed with me that we should bring him back to 1,400 metres to get a more genuinely-run race.

'Barrier one was a big help because I couldn't actually get him out too soon. He's not the sort of horse you want to hit the front early on, and I was able to follow Douglas [Whyte, on Multi-win Spirit] and he took us right down the straight before Cheerful Happiness had to hit the front.'

Shane Dye's alleged run of good fortune in the stewards' room came to an inglorious conclusion in the final event, when the stipes found he had a case to answer in the check received by Full of Joy (Gerald Mosse) in the last 200 metres of race 10.

Dye was suspended for two meetings and fined HK$20,000, with the ban to take effect after he completes his engagements on Wednesday at Happy Valley.

Howard Cheng Tue-tin was also suspended for the same stretch over an incident in the early stages of race three, and fined HK$35,000 in lieu of a third meeting.