Whyte waves his magic wand again
The Dream Team was back in full swing at Happy Valley last night, with a fresh Douglas Whyte resuming from an enforced break to claim half the card and John Size providing a rare pair at the course to help him out.
Whyte was back from suspension and showed once again that he goes well on the fresh side, tearing the heart out of the programme with wins in four consecutive races that might easily have been five after losing the third race in a photo to Soldier (Terry Wong Chi-wai).
Whyte went on a rampage thereafter, with Derek Cruz-trained Happy Contender followed by Fortune Together for Me Tsui Yu-sak before he combined with Size to win the Hong Kong Golf Club Centenary Cup, 1,200m, on The Wand and the following race with Enabling.
It was the first time Whyte had teamed with Size for a winner at Happy Valley since February and the first time in almost a year that the Dream Team was able to land two wins there.
'The Wand has never done anything to suggest he is outstanding, but he has been consistent and he deserved to win one,' said Size, after landing the night's feature after a minor mishap at the starting gates, when The Wand had to be removed and have the once over from the vet before taking part.
'He's his own worst enemy at the gates - he is claustrophobic in there,' said Whyte.
'But as far as his form was concerned, he put the writing on the wall last time on the dirt after drawing wide and running so well.
'Enabling scored at Sha Tin two runs earlier under Mark Du Plessis after being able to use gate one to good effect and from the same draw last night he was able to run out a comfortable winner again over the 1,800m.
'John said to be positive from the draw and it all fell into place, and he just kept rolling,' said Whyte.
'He got all the favours, but he did give me a good feel tonight and surprised me a bit. He could be just one of those typical John Size projects and just keep stepping up above everyone's expectations.'
Trainer David Hall is celebrating a good start to the season and threw a birthday cheer in as well when Soldier gave Wong his fourth win for the season.
Hall turns 48 today and admitted he has been surprised by the change in Soldier for having blinkers removed in two runs this season.
'Usually when you put the blinkers on them they show a bit more speed but this horse has been the opposite - he's showing more pace from the gates since we took the blinkers off,' Hall said.
'Maybe he'll lose that early speed now that he's had two runs and the freshness is off him.
'But Terry did well to have him out quickly and in the right spot and he was always going to run well in the run.'
Local rider Eddy Lai Wai-ming was already staring down the barrel of a two day careless riding ban before last night's meeting, but managed to add another penalty with his ride on Brilliant One and will now miss meetings on November 9 through to 20 and stewards threw a HK$15,000 fine on the top in lieu of a further day's suspension.
The 'King Of Class Five' Tony Millard was at it again in the first race, with Well Done (Matthew Chadwick) confirming the form he showed first time out this season, with a very easy all the way win.