Learning as important as winning for Shum
It wasn't only about winning - it was about education, said trainer Danny Shum Chap-shing after improving griffin Big Profit broke through for his maiden victory and earned his connections an International Sale griffin bonus.
The three-year-old has impressed this season and a cheque for an extra HK$300,000 came the way of his owners after Douglas Whyte steered Big Profit to a workmanlike win in the Elizabeth Arden Handicap (1,400m).
'The great thing about Douglas' ride was that Big Profit has won the race but will also come away from it a better horse - he will have learned from it,' said Shum.
Certainly he was relieved that Big Profit had come through his previous experience without any mental scarring, after a scrimmage midrace that ruined his winning chance last start.
'It was a huge run,' said Whyte. 'He made up a phenomenal amount of ground and I was pleasantly surprised when Danny rang me a couple of days later and asked if I would ride the horse. I've been on him twice in trackwork and his gallop down the riverside the other day was winning work. All he needed was the right run and he got that and he feels to me like he'll quickly be out of Class Four and make a nice bread and butter horse in Class Three.'
Andy Leung Ting-wah's stable jockey, Brett Doyle, goes to a delayed suspension today after doing everything right but being just unable to take advantage of the opportunities which arose after Darren Beadman was sidelined yesterday.
Doyle finished with seconds on Redragtoabull and Eyshal and a fourth on One World, all pick-up rides for John Moore.
The other half of the stable combination, Leung, was fined HK$10,000 for entering Cheerful Happiness for a race after having received treatment from the vets that rendered him ineligible.
Stewards also suspended Way Leung Ming-wai, who was hit with a two-meeting ban for his ride on Active Valour in the fourth, and will commence the ban after Happy Valley on Wednesday.
Jockey Jacky Tong Chi-kit wasn't giving himself any points for style after the Francis Lui Kin-wai-trained Able Standard narrowly shook off his maiden tag at start number 32, but the number went in the frame.
'I was never closer than three wide on the horse and I didn't come here with too much confidence in him anyway, so I wasn't expecting to win,' he said. 'But Able Standard's attitude was a lot better than it has been at times before and he relaxed, so with the light weight he was able to keep going.'
While neither Tong nor trainer Lui confessed to having been overboard about Able Standard's chances, someone was, as the gelding's odds shortened dramatically from 20-1 to his 8-1 starting quote.