Double takes Wong by surprise, but not punters
Even trainer Alex Wong Yu-on was surprised to be leading in a double yesterday - he had not planned on having many more runners than that.
'Originally I had three entries for the day,' he said after Implied Volatility (Howard Cheng Yue-tin) upset hot favourite Forest Star in the opening race, then Vincent Sit Shun-keung threw Conqueror across the line four races later for a stable pair.
'Both these horses ran five days ago and weren't going to run again so quickly until the Jockey Club had a shortage of numbers and reopened entries. I thought, why not? In the end, I had 11 entries for today instead of three. At this time of the year having already had a race, or two in Conqueror's case, is an advantage.'
Both runners had some attention in the betting, with Conqueror's confident backing into 7-1 getting the stewards involved after the gelding had run 11th to Royal Pumpkin last weekend. 'They asked me how the horse improved so much from five days ago and I told them that Conqueror has always run badly when he has drawn badly, as he did that day,' Wong said.
'He drew out, there was no horse on his outside on the turn and he laid out like he always does.
'Today, he had a horse outside him to steer him around the turn and it helped him, but fitness was also a key issue. When better horses come along, Conqueror is not good enough to beat them but today he was fit and had his day.'
Wong had more time for Implied Volatility, who also had some admirers at long odds before winning the opening event at 1,200m in his second appearance for the trainer.
'It wasn't stable money. Just like Conqueror, I don't know who backed it. Just lucky money. As I said, he was never meant to run today,' Wong said.
'But I do think he could be a horse to follow from my stable. He certainly wants more distance than today's race and hasn't had a lot of racing. I do think that Implied Volatility has some upside.'
For Cheng, Implied Volatility was a timely winner as he was later found guilty of careless riding for his efforts on Star Legend in the second race and handed a two-day ban.