Unwanted Golden Boy wrecks most TT players
Michael Chang Chun-wai was not exactly the 'Golden Boy' for Triple Trio punters when his Class Five winner of that name put the sword to most tickets in the first leg - and even the trainer confessed to some surprise.
Golden Boy (Way leung Ming-wai), was coming off a flop at Happy Valley over 1,000m, but was sent to the lead over 1,650m on the dirt this time and just kept going.
'At Happy Valley, he just didn't have the speed to get to the front and that seems to be the key with him,' Chang said after a day when he also saddled Be Grateful (Alex Lai Hoi-wing) to score.
'Golden Boy has trialled very well a few times on the dirt - he won by eight lengths one day - so I was thinking that this is his surface.
'But he needs to take the lead or he just doesn't seem to try when he gets behind other horses as he has been in the past.
'This time, I decided to put him over 1,650m to be sure that he would be able to lead, even though I wasn't sure about his stamina. I said to the jockey, 'Just go to the front and we'll see what happens'.'
With 111 pounds, Golden Boy was able to keep going at odds of 42-1 on a track favouring front runners, landing the first prize money of his career.
His victory punctured most Triple Trio players' hopes of winning the HK$51 million pool, although it will have been welcomed by the Jockey Club, raising the stocks of the club's disappointing Subscription Griffins.
Chang's second winner, Be Grateful, was rather better anticipated, both by the public at odds of 11-1, and by the trainer.
'Be Grateful is totally US-bred - by Fusaichi Pegasus and his mother by A P Indy - so that's why I have kept him on the dirt every start this season,' said Chang, although the plan had not borne fruit until yesterday.
'Matthew Chadwick rode him last start and told me that Be Grateful didn't enjoy the kickback racing on the inside. So this time I put the pacifiers on to replace the blinkers and give him a bit more protection from the kickback, but I also asked Alex to try and be sure to get to the outside in the straight.'
Lai did his part, bringing up a double of his own, and Be Grateful lost his maiden status, but with prospects of more to come. 'He is only a three-year-old and he looks like he will run further than 1,650m, so there is reason to think he will have room for more improvement,' said Chang.