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Ricky Yiu Poon-Fai

Good as Gold as Yiu rides on the Express to savour his best ever season

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 June, 2011, 12:00am

Ricky Yiu Poon-fai is quickly closing in on 50 wins after a double with Share Of Gold and Legend Express, which takes him to 47 victories - clearly his best result since becoming a trainer in 1995-96.

Yiu had his heart in his mouth as the short-priced favourite Share Of Gold was checked in the final stages of the 1,000m Healthy Family Handicap, until a level headed Zac Purton extracted the three-year-old from harms way and drove him to a half-length victory over Star Legend - instigator of the trouble in running.

'Share of Gold has kept improving from his first start and it was a promising win today,' Yiu said. 'He didn't have everything go his way, and that was what made his performance impressive. It is not easy for a youngster to get checked in the run home like that and still manage to win.

'He's a big horse and he's got a huge stride so, once he lost his momentum, I thought maybe he'd lose the race due to bad luck.'

Share Of Gold converted a promising debut second behind the David Hall-trained Ponderosa to claim his maiden win, and Yiu will bide his time before stepping the Thorn Park gelding up in trip.

'He overcame the interference and was still good enough to make ground, and Zac did a good job to help get him clear,' Yiu said. 'We'll see how many rating points they give him, and then maybe give him one more run down the straight, then we can think about stepping him up to 1,200 metres and coming round the bend next season.'

If Yiu was anticipating the win as confidently as the punters who made Share Of Gold a pronounced $1.40 favourite, then he was equally as shocked when Legend Express burst from the pack to salute at odds of 19-1 by a gaping 21/2 lengths.

'The first thing that jockey Alex Lai [Hoi-wing] came back and said after the race was that the pace was just perfect for Legend Express today,' Yiu said. 'The even tempo suited him well, he really needs that, and it was the same when he won at Happy Valley earlier this season.

'If they stop and start, he can't let down like he has today, he really needs to keep his rhythm early.' Legend Express relished the solid tempo set by New Vision before swinging off his back to claim the Cherishing Your Family Handicap (1,600m) and capture his second major of the term.