Lu Yue worth the wait for Prebble
Brett Prebble had to wait all day for his winner yesterday but Lu Yue was worth the wait after impressing the Australian in defeat at his most recent run. 'That day he was having his first run in blinkers, stepping up to 2,000m and he had to work a bit going out of the straight the first time six wide,' Prebble recalled.
'As a result, he was tough to settle and I thought then that to stay on as he did after working early was a pretty good effort.'
Prebble went forward to a good trailing spot early on the Dennis Yip Chor-hong-trained four-year-old yesterday from a low draw and made sure he was in the driver's seat throughout.
'Coming back to 1,800m, I was confident I could ride him aggressively and make them chase me and he'd be strong enough even when the tempo was quite solid,' Prebble said.
The Jockey Club prediction of billion-dollar turnover days received an unexpected boost, with betting figures tipping just over the nine-digit mark as the field jumped away in the final race.
Earlier in the season, executive director of racing, Bill Nader, confidently forecast that the club would top HK$1 billion in turnover 10 times this season after reaching that level only three times during the 2006-07 season. 'This probably wasn't a day we were expecting to do it, but that now makes six billion-dollar turnover days already this season and some of our bigger meetings are still coming up,' said Nader.
It was all about the luck if you ask trainer Almond Lee Yee-tat about his victory yesterday with Full Of Joy (Alex Lai Hoi-wing).
'Today he drew gate one, he had a light weight and all the luck went his way - in the past this is the horse who was often unlucky but not this time,' Lee smiled.
'Today, a lot of people will look at the race and say Fellowship was unlucky, but that's the way racing goes. Sometimes you're the one with no luck, sometimes it's someone else and you win.'
Fellowship (Glen Boss) was badly held up in the run down the straight before his close fourth and stewards later adjourned their inquiry into his run up the straight.
Stewards had their hands full in race three, dealing with the successful second-against-first protest and handing our careless-riding suspensions to Douglas Whyte (My Home Town) and Anthony Delpech (Lifeline Pegasus).
Whyte received two days and an HK$80,000 fine in lieu of two extra days for his shift on the home turn that led to the protest, while Delpech was found guilty of two separate charges for incidents at the 900m and again at the 200m and banned for two days in total but fined HK$20,000 for each of the incidents.