Express one of 'elite' members of Sale club

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 December, 2009, 12:00am

Well-bred Legend Express took out the Hong Kong International Sale December Challenge ahead of Saturday's 2009 sale, but became part of a disappearing club in doing so.

The Challenge events had been introduced two seasons ago as an exclusive opportunity for sale horses after the Jockey Club had accumulated huge profits in reselling the horses at the International Sale and was slightly embarrassed by the situation.

However, a loss at last year's sale and the unattractiveness of the Challenge races, which have produced small field sizes and low turnover, has seen the events abandoned.

The club has wound down the restricted events for the International Sale griffins of 2008 to just two events, with another to come in June, but that will be the finish and there will be no Challenge races for the horses sold next weekend. Still, Legend Express (Alex Lai Hoi-wing) will have a future as the son of Encosta de Lago and Golden Slipper winner Burst has shown steady improvement over time.

'He gets a bit better each time he goes out and I think he's a good prospect,' said trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fi.

'The slow pace and the good draw helped him - he was in the perfect position - but he has won two of his six races and is still maturing.

'I'll keep him to 1,400m for the time being.'