Long wait over as Mikado scores for proud Ferraris
If revenge is indeed a dish best served cold, then trainer David Ferraris won't have minded the extra 20 minutes he had to wait on top of the full 12 months connections of Chater Mikado had already held out for the gelding's first local win in the Ap Lei Chau Handicap (1,200m).
The year of waiting can be put down to troublesome hoof injuries which hampered Chater Mikado (Brett Prebble) throughout last season, but the extra 20 minutes came courtesy of Darren Beadman's protest on runner-up Kyara, a horse formerly trained by Ferraris.
When the Hong Kong Cricket Club Syndicate-owned Chater Mikado did enough on the line to hold out the late finish of the plunge horse Kyara - backed from 16-1 down to 5-1 first-up for the season - there was a greater gleam of satisfaction than usual in Ferraris' eye as he had trained Kyara in his early races before the horse's owner moved his stock across to Moore during last season.
'I know this horse - he used to get his head up in the air like that when I trained him,' Ferraris reportedly gave in evidence as stewards considered the objection by Beadman over the neck margin.
With Chater Mikado pouncing on the front at the 250m, he rolled out slightly and Kyara was hampered in getting to his outside and stewards gave the objection a serious consideration before ruling in favour of the first past the post.
Perhaps the added tension made the win even sweeter for Ferraris, but the South African was more intent on declaring that it won't be the last win for the five-year-old, now that he has thrown off his foot issues.
'He was plagued by quarter crack problems all last season,' Ferraris said. 'I'd get him fit and ready to run well and it would split open again. It wouldn't go away. The encouraging thing was that he kept running good races even with this problem so I knew he would be a different horse once he got over it.'
And, with the summer break, Chater Mikado has been able to put the problem behind him now.
'It has grown out, everything is fine and he will win more races,' said Ferraris, who said the gelding's regular tardiness at the start may have helped him yesterday. 'Being a bit slow away wasn't a bad thing with the pace on like that and it suited him, but I think his next run will be even better.'
Prebble, who had won earlier on Lucky Record and claimed the Jockey Challenge, said Chater Mikado may have 'appreciated the grass on the track being left a bit longer' and said he wasn't concerned when the protest went in.
'Never worried - the second horse did contribute by moving in and made it look a lot worse than it really was,' Prebble said.
Prebble rides infrequently for Ferraris, and his previous winner for the yard had also been a Cricket Club syndicate horse, Chater de Lago in February, 2009, but the pair have a different kind of assignment in Melbourne this Saturday.
Bear Hero runs against Australia's top three-year-old sprinter Sepoy in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington with Prebble on board.
'Bear Hero is in terrific condition, everything has gone right - he had a jump out there last week and went nicely,' said Ferraris. 'He will work fast Monday morning, then have a bit of light work later in the week. I know we are taking on a champion but we're hoping for the best.'