Yiu and Boss building a profitable partnership
Murray Bell and Alan Aitken
Ricky Yiu Poon-fie's reputation as the gun strike-rate trainer is well established but his association with jockey Glen Boss is starting to make waves in more ways than one.
Yesterday, Boss had two rides for the trainer of the mighty Sacred Kingdom and once again capitalised on the opportunity, landing the opener on Wavy Peak in the battle of the cellar dwellers.
Boss has ridden for Yiu 22 times this season and Wave Peak's soft win was victory number five, giving the pair a strike rate of 22.7 per cent. They've also had three seconds and two thirds, accumulating a place strike rate of an impressive 45.4 per cent.
'It's going very well with Ricky and I'm delighted it's coming together so nicely,' Boss said. 'Ricky has proved himself over and over again to be a very good trainer and we seem to have clicked well together.'
Despite the fact that Wavy Peak is an eight-year-old, the chestnut has been limited by soundness problems to just 18 starts and Yiu has brought him through a major rehabilitation.
Tony Cruz and his allocated apprentice Marco Chui Kwan-lai gained their regulation winner when Island Sunrise completed a hat-trick in the Kut Cheong Handicap. And despite the narrowness of the short-head victory, there's optimism in the camp that the winning run may not be over yet.
Island Sunrise joined the Cruz yard during the summer after seven unplaced runs for Peter Ng Bik-kuen. Cruz seemed to find the key to the Flying Spur gelding straight away and delivered an effortless Class Five win first time out, followed by two more in the next grade.
'He does have a number of leg problems but we're managing them as best we can and he's fairly sound at the moment,' Cruz said.
'Today's win was only a narrow one, and I'm assuming that should mean, off a rating of 53 today, he'll stay in Class Four. If that's the case, he can probably win another one.'
The win gave Cruz his 30th winner for the term and consolidated his position as leader of the pack chasing John Size, as the Australian bids for a fifth champion trainer title.
Yesterday's Prosperity Handicap (1,600m) was the first time Andreas Schutz had dared run Kenobe in what he thought a suitable race, but the four-year-old responded with a win.
'From the start I always felt he would want some distance but he was always playing up and overracing and doing everything wrong,' Schutz said.
'So I kept him to sprint races to get him to learn about racing. But his last start he was off the bridle early over 1,400 metres and I thought then that the time was right to step him up to the mile.
'The penny is dropping with him now but as this season goes on and we get into next season, I feel he's going to keep improving.'
Jockey Olivier Doleuze said the gelding had always been a difficult ride but the rise in distance had helped.
'I'm happy. He always showed ability but does a bit wrong - hanging on the turns and so on, but the 1,600 metres was good for him,' he said.