Lady Luck smiles on Tsui as he saddles up another double

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 January, 2008, 12:00am

Me Tsui Yu-sak thought his luck had turned for the better when stewards gifted Spirit Of Lo Pan a race on protest last week, but little did he imagine it would prove to be the opening of the floodgates.

When well-backed Beautiful Choice comfortably won the Lau Fau Shan Handicap (second division) under Anthony Delpech yesterday, Tsui had completed his fifth win in the space of seven days and admitted to being at peace with the world.

'I thought at the time, when the stewards upheld the protest of my Spirit Of Lo Pan against Jamesina, that my luck must have turned,' Tsui (pictured) said.

'Then I went to Happy Valley on Wednesday night and landed a double [Wong's Favourite and Fat Dragon] and now another two winners today - a double double,' he added with a laugh.

Tsui was widely regarded has having done an excellent job last season to win 26 races, with most of his team being cast-offs from more prominent yards. He worked the oracle with a number of horses thought to be well past their use-by date and, slowly but surely, the team started to expand as owners sought to cash in on his winning ways.

After 34 meetings of the new term, Tsui is well on the way to bettering his sterling 2006-07 tally. Yesterday's double took him to 18 on the trainers' ladder, and to give that some perspective it's equal with Almond Lee Yee-tat and only one behind reigning champion Caspar Fownes.

Top South African jockey Anthony Delpech was pleased to get the call-up from Tsui to take over from five-pound claimer Way Leung Ming-wai on Beautiful Choice, but only until he checked the video replay of the gelding's last start.

'After that I was absolutely delighted,' Delpech said. 'Boy, that was a big run at his previous start. He had a difficult barrier there and I knew that from barrier six today, he'd have a much easier run and be very hard to beat.'

Tsui also took a calculated gamble with Class Five galloper Silver Wraith, who had worked home late from well back in the field under Christophe Soumillon last Sunday.

'He's only a skinny horse and he lost a bit of weight from that run,' Tsui said. 'I just gave him an easy week, tried to keep him as fresh as possible, and hoped that he would back-up okay.

'The major factor in this win was that Alex [Lai Hoi-wing] got him away so fast. He's often been slow out of the gates, but I was much more confident in the run when he began so cleanly.'

On the rise

Me Tsui is set to improve on his tally of last season after another good day

The trainer's second double in seven days has given him this many wins for the season: 18