Happy Reunion cheers up Prebble and Yiu
It was not the grand victory Brett Prebble and trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fai had slated for Sacred Kingdom in the Group One Takamatsunomiya Kinen in Japan yesterday, but Happy Reunion gave the pair some reason to celebrate when he claimed the Lok Sin Tong Cup (1,200m) at Sha Tin.
The pair were left disappointed when Sacred Kingdom suffered a bout of colic, but they are confident the super sprinter will make a full recovery and will be back at the racetrack next season. The 40th Takamatsunomiya Kinen (1,200m) looked to be Sacred Kingdom's for the taking before the mishap, but Hong Kong's misfortune proved lucky for Japanese runner Kinshasa No Kiseki as he finally broke his Group One drought.
The seven-year-old favourite won the race by a nose after seven attempts at the top level, beating fast-finishing B B Guldan and A Shin Forward at Chukyo Racecourse.
Prebble was left chasing rides for the meeting after passing on a number of his top chances to be able to partner Sacred Kingdom in Japan, but a double helped ease the pain for the premiership leader, with an earlier win in the Me Tsui Yu-sak-trained New Leader to complement his win on Happy Reunion for Yiu.
'Both my winner's were rides I've picked up late and probably wouldn't usually be on,' Prebble said. 'So it was nice to get a bit of luck and I've ended up having a pretty good day.
'Happy Reunion was a push-button ride; it almost helped that he drew wide because we didn't have to hunt up early on the rails and could let Noble Choice go to the front without getting fired-up.'
Prebble has a good opinion of Happy Reunion and said he could have been a 'serious horse' but for his well-known breathing problems for which he had a throat operation early this season.
New Leader provided Prebble with his first winner by taking out the Lok Fu Handicap (1,400m) two races earlier.
'New Leader went nice today and I think he'll be a better horse next season,' Prebble said.