St Didar's triumph for Ferraris speeds Marwing to winning treble
South African jockey Marwing Weichong stole the show at the All-Weather meeting at Sha Tin last night by bagging a personal treble after combining for a winning double with fellow countryman David Ferraris.
Marwing struck early on the Alex Wong Yu-on trained Winning Scholar before booting home a Ferraris double in consecutive races on Chater D'Cat and St Didar.
'I've been knocking on the door lately, picking up a winner here and a winner there, but it was nice that the sun was shining on me, so to speak,' Marwing said.
'Winning Scholar had a good lead up, won his trial and has really taken to the dirt.
'He is an improver, he's still only four years old and he will gain a lot of confidence from that and really progress from here.'
Ferraris revealed that his recent return to form has come from a return to his old feed regime - after a new mix of grain yielded a frustrating run of outs for the experienced horseman.
'All my horses have run very well tonight, and it really looks like the stable has turned the corner since I've gone back to my old feed,' Ferraris said.
'I changed to a new supplier and there was nothing wrong with the actual quality of the grain, but it just had a different energy content and it wasn't working well with the way I train.
'But now we've gone back to the old feed the horses are really thriving again. It's nice to be able to put your finger on the problem and be able to do something about it.'
Ferraris and Marwing were most impressed by the win of St Didar - who finished strongly to claim the second section of the Magpie Handicap (1,200m) from Well Noted. 'He runs well on both the turf and the dirt, but the most important thing for him is the pace of the race,' Ferraris said.
'Weichong rode him a treat, he beat a pretty strong field and he looks a promising young horse.'
Marwing's three winners and a second placing was enough to snatch the Jockey Challenge away from new outright premiership leader Brett Prebble.
Prebble claimed a winning double on Supreme Commander and Loads Of Joy to take a two-win lead over the suspended Douglas Whyte with 20 meetings to go until the end of the season.
Manfred Man Ka-Leung's excellent season continued and the trainer cashed in to win the feature race of the night, the Egret Handicap (1,200m), with recent arrival Cheque Book.
'He raced best on the dirt wearing blinkers in America, but when he arrived in Hong Kong, we didn't have enough time to pass him with the gear change for his first run,' Man said.
'It was a smart ride by the jockey, he used the horse's early speed, but then was able to take a sit and he was able to kick again in the straight.'
Derek Leung Ka-chun rated the Rainmaker gelding to perfection and drove him away over the concluding stages to record a two-and-a-half length win over Able Speed with the heavily supported True Intelligence a neck away third.
Sean Woods bagged another dirt win with Upside Of Anger - who has had recurring issues with blood in his trachea - and was more than pleased with his improved dirt performer.
'I'm just very happy for the horse and the owner, he has had his issues, but he has landed two very good wins on the dirt and has really put his best foot forward lately,' Woods said.