Booming City takes advantage of soft lead to help Lee's yard claim double
It was a case of deja vu for trainer Almond Lee Yee-tat in the feature event as his great stable servant Booming City landed an all the way win as part of a double for the yard.
'You know, that was just like when Wine Win won recently - they just let him go so slow in the lead - and this is a genuine sort of a horse,' beamed Lee after Booming City (Alex Lai Hoi-wing) snared the CUHK Alumni Cup (1,200m).
The seven-year-old remains fairly lightly raced with 33 starts after having problems early in his career, but was able to build on some solid recent form up the straight 1,000m to dictate terms and take his earnings close to HK$3 million.
'I asked Alex to go to the lead but let Booming City get there gradually, not bustle him, and in the end nobody else wanted the front,' Lee said.
'Just like Wine Win, they let him go a very, very slow time early for this grade of horse and that was the story of the race.
'Booming City is honest so when they gave him a head start like that and no pressure, he was always going to be tough to run down. He has been a very good horse for the stable, but the Class Two has not run much faster than the Class Four that opened the day, so you can see how slow the speed was.'
The disappointment was Craig's Dragon - backed heavily into odds-on - who had beaten Booming City home comfortably last time out. But after getting a nice trip under James Winks, he failed to finish the race off in fourth place and the stewards reported nothing amiss with him.
Lee later made it a pair as Clement Elite (Eric Saint-Martin) finished off strongly under a copybook ride to take the final event easily.
'Actually, I'm happy to win not only because I always like to win but because some of the press say that I never win with a favourite! For me, I never mind about the odds, I always want to win,' laughed Lee.
'He had finished second to Happy Zero two runs ago and Happy Zero is a Class One horse, so that looked like good form for Class Three.'