Prebble gets the job done for punters
Brett Prebble proved the punters' friend once again - driving home the short-priced favourite Pretty One early in the card, before delivering on a late plunge on the David Hall-trained Familists in the last.
Pretty One put his best foot forward to comfortably claim his second race success at odds of $21 for trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fai, before the brown light bandits chimed in to support Familists from $180 to $85.50 in the last.
Prebble and his followers suffered the disappointment of a flat run from Lucky Nine in the feature Group One Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup (1,400m) - but it wasn't enough to dampen their spirits over the remainder of the card as the Australian guided home his 42nd season winner, and eighth in three meetings.
'Pretty One was still naughty going around to the gates and getting loaded, but, once they jumped, the race flowed smoothly and that was just what he needed,' Prebble said.
'He was caught three wide last time on a day where he was meeting fitter, more seasoned horses, but today he got a perfect run in midfield and was able to get his action right.
'I had to wait for him to change his lead leg for a long way in the straight, because otherwise he might have run about a bit, but, once he did, he accelerated strongly.'
Prebble will recommend Yiu give the horse a short freshen-up before his next start after he defeated the determined Affluence Of Rain by three-quarters-of-a-length, with a further 2? back to Rocket Proud in third. Familists overcame a wide barrier to claim his maiden Hong Kong win at start four for Hall, who hopes a step up in grade and drop in weight may see the gelding win another race in the near future.
'He was probably lucky to win today in that the second horse was held up for quite a while, but he got the job done for the owners,' Hall said.
'Familists came up here without any huge expectations from the owners, he was very well exposed in Australia before arriving and was sent up here to have a bit of fun and try and pinch a couple of wins.'
Prebble was also grateful to come out of the race with a narrow victory - after fearing the horse would throw it away over the concluding stages.
'He's not bombproof by any means, at the 600 metres I was riding him along and it felt like there was nothing there, then he finally got going when I gave him a crack with the whip and got to the front too quick and almost cost himself the race,' he said.'