Sunny Smiles for Shum as solid start continues
Trainer Danny Shum Chap-sing continued his hot start to the season with a double, including a victory with the equal-lowest rated galloper on the 10-race card. Fionn's Dragon was an impressive winner of a strong Class Three Handicap to close the meeting, but the trainer seemed most proud of his victory in a Class Five with Sunny Smiles.
Coming off a rating of 20 and with a record of two wins from 32 starts, Sunny Smiles obviously needs some breaks to find his way to the winner's enclosure and his luck started by drawing gate one in the 1,800m staying event. From there Eddie Lai Wai-ming was able to box seat, peel off heels at the 200m and cruise away for an comfortable victory.
'It looks good for me,' Shum laughed post race. 'As long as he has a good draw and cover he can run good, when he is three deep with no cover, he cannot finish off. He can get 2,000m, as long as he gets a good draw and a box seat. This season he put on weight, which is a good sign for a seven-year-old horse. I think he can keep up these consistent performances.'
More noteworthy was the narrow win of Fionn's Dragon under a nice ride from Alex Lai Hoi-wing.
The six-year-old outlasted a host of probable future winners, including All Victory and the heavily-backed favourite Best City, who was terribly unlucky.
'I didn't think he could win to be honest, because it was a very strong field in this race,' Shum said. 'But the jockey rode him well and found the best way for the horse and found the best area for the horse. This was the key.'
Shum has now had four winners from 29 starters and seems to have a few horses that have more wins in store, including the sprinter Blue Caviar and Planet.
'It's not too bad,' he said. 'We've worked very hard, the horses are keeping very happy in the stable and they're eating very well and when they're working in the morning they're so very happy.'