Brilliant Prebble keeps the momentum going with treble
It was all about Brett Prebble again at Happy Valley last night, as the Australian jockey landed a three-timer to keep the ball rolling on a brilliant two months since his return from an improper-riding ban.
Prebble returned from the one month suspension on January 16 and has been on fire since, with last night's collection of Master Rio, Classic Boy and Fresh Air taking his figures to 23 wins from 100 rides in the period.
'It has been terrific staying out of the stewards' room and getting some momentum going,' Prebble said. 'I've been lucky, too, just getting on some good chances at the right time.'
That was the case with his opening winner, Master Rio for Manfred Man Ka-leung, who relished the return to the Valley and a good draw to score a tradesman-like Class Four win. 'And I think Classic Boy has been busting to win one but he probably has more scope,' he said.
'Fresh Air was probably a bit fortunate to get away with his race - he got a bump at the 500m and got unbalanced but he did well to recover and get his mind back on the job. He might be better going back to the bigger track at Sha Tin now.'
Caspar Fownes had a tough night at the office, with three other stable runners finishing second but he forecast a nice future for Classic Boy.
'He's just so new to it all and he's still been beaten in two photos,' he said. 'He enjoyed being able to sit behind tonight instead being out in front and I think he'll make a decent stayer next season.'
South African Greg Cheyne also clinched a double on the night with Butterfield and Romancing Tamar and the popular rider continues to chip away consistently.
'I think I've only had two rides for Derek Cruz now and they've both won,' he said after lifting seven-year-old Butterfield to his first win since May, 2009, in the third event.
Last season, Derek Cruz was handed a batch of horses by a group of owners formerly with Alex Wong Yu-on and Cruz said last night that Butterfield completed the set - he has won with them all.
'His last couple at Sha Tin had been quite good and he has always been a better horse at Happy Valley so we gave him a chance and the race broke beautifully for him with a decent pace on,' Cruz said.
Ricky Yiu Poon-fai took out the featured Police Cup with Happy Guys (Alex Lai Hoi-wing) and revealed he had bought the horse as a yearling in New Zealand.
'I bought him as a baby and he raced down there a handful of times but these owners didn't have a permit so I was able to bring him up here as a trainer syndicate horse,' Yiu said. 'They're really nice people the owners, that's where the Happy Guys name comes from, and being a Keeper I thought he would do well here.'
Olivier Doleuze was the only victim in the stewards room for careless riding on Gilded Flight (race two), with a HK$40,000 fine and a two-day ban, commencing on March 27.