Lui thanks heavens as Super Bobo and Trulli secure long-awaited double
Former jockey turned-trainer Francis Lui Kin-wai landed a rare double with Trulli and Super Bobo at Sha Tin yesterday - his first since May 25, 2008.
He has had a dry spell in recent seasons, but a change in weather also brought a change in fortunes for Lui, who saddled both winners as a late-December drizzle set in.
In fact, the trainer was turning to the heavens in thanks after conceding his second winner, Super Bobo, in particular was helped by the extra cut in the track.
'This horse has only a very short sprint on fast ground,' Lui said.
'The little bit of rain really helped him extend his run today and the jockey was able to find the best part of the track by coming to the centre of the straight.'
Jockey Alex Lai Hoi-wing rated Super Bobo to perfection and guided the gelding to the front at the 200m mark before driving him to the post for a comfortable 11/4 lengths victory over Sparkling in a time of 1.36.42.
The win was the five-year-old Towkay gelding's second and takes his earnings past the HK$1 million mark.
Lui's first winner, Trulli, was well fancied in the Ho Chung Handicap, despite favourite, King Of Hearts, starting an odds-on elect in the race for trainer John Moore.
Again a humble Lui praised his jockey, this time Frenchman Olivier Doleuze, and gave him much of the credit for Trulli's second win.
'Olivier knows this horse and is the only jockey to have won on him,' Lui said.
'He knows that he only has a short sprint, and knew that he would have to use it at the right time to get him home.'
Lui believes the all-weather surface may now suit his galloper better, despite Trulli's previous win coming on the Sha Tin turf course.
'He's maybe better off on the dirt because the sectionals are always run more consistently and the pace tends to be faster,' Lui said. 'It's not that he won't handle the turf, but he just needs to have some speed up front.'
Doleuze agreed with Lui's assessment and was more than happy to have sole leader China Hero carving out quick early sectionals.
The race was run in 1.09.58 with early sectionals of 23.38 and 22.02 helping Trulli to find his best form and land a convincing win.
'I've ridden him on the turf and won on him before, but the most important thing is that he gets a good pace,' Doleuze said.
'He got that pace up front today. I had a lovely run in transit and he got his chance to finish the race off.'