Courageous Quick Touch shows heart of a fighter to gun down rivals
They say money speaks all languages so after sensationally backed Quick Touch ($46.50) landed another big gamble in claiming the final event, no one had to ask Danny Shum Chap-shing his opinion of the New Zealand-bred gelding.
The four-year-old son of the excellent Mr Prospector stallion Faltaat may have only scored narrowly in the Chevalier Lifts & Escalators Handicap, but Shum knew it was a race of real depth and strength.
'He is a nice horse all right, and he showed today he has a very good fighting heart,' Shum said. 'The only thing with this horse is that he puts so much into his races, he needs about a month between runs to fully recover.'
Quick Touch has now won three of his eight starts and is shaping up as perhaps the most successful Trainer Syndicate horse.
He completed a double for Howard Cheng Yue-tin, who earlier scored a soft win on Give Well for Michael Chang Chun-wai.
Give Well also landed some good wagers when backed down to HK$118, but it was scarcely a surprise after his late closing fifth behind Cash Money over 1,400m at Sha Tin seven days earlier.
The double took Cheng along to 17 wins for the term and that means equal third spot with Brett Prebble in the jockeys' standings. It also means he's at unbackable odds to be the second Hong Kong representative in the Cathay Pacific International Jockeys' Challenge on December 10.
Gerald Mosse landed a winner but the day ended disastrously, with the Frenchman found guilty of failing to ride Meridian Pride right to the line to the satisfaction of stewards in the seventh event.
The video shows Mosse using full vigour on the Almond Lee Yee-tat-trained Meridian Pride, but the gelding was beginning to weaken and Mosse eased up on him in the final two strides. Unfortunately for Mosse, Berio grabbed third on the line under hard riding from Prebble, and Meridian Pride was nosed back into fourth.
Stewards decided to suspend Mosse for five days, but gave him a break in that the suspension will not take effect until after the International Races (December 14). He is scheduled to resume on January 5.
Mosse missed the first nine meetings of the term on a charge that was sustained against him at the end of last season, on board the John Moore-trained Willing Storm.
A big weight was the last thing that had trainer Caspar Fownes worried before Grant Land's Star (Mosse) landed his first victory in smart style.
'Look at him - he's a monster, I knew he'd carry the 133 pounds OK,' said Fownes of the 1,200-plus pound gelding, who was bought by his owner after a Group Two Grand Prix placing in Australia as a three-year-old but missed much of his four-year-old year. 'He was a victim of equine influenza. He'd been bought and was ready to come here and all the imports stopped and he had a season in limbo.'
So Great Land's Star was making up for lost time when he built on his steady recent improvement to take the 1,800m race and was never really going to lose.
'He's a stayer and was held up on the fence last start when he needed to get rolling and should have finished closer behind Best Power. This looked more or less the same field,' Fownes said. 'I knew he had improved and Gerald gave him a super ride.'