Yiu's night of glory at City track
Ricky Yiu Poon-fai capped a treble with a Cup win to Fortune Winner at Happy Valley last night, helped by a ride from in-form jockey Zac Purton.
Purton rode a double and captured his third jockey challenge in four meetings, saluting on Yiu's six-year-old, which has now won three times from four starts this season and ran away with the Wayfoong Centenary Bowl (1,800m).
Fortune Winner started the season in Class Four off 52, won twice in quick succession, was then second and kept the momentum going last night.
Yiu's assistant trainer Ricky Cheung said the horse had overcome some heart problems and regained full health.
'He just did the same thing as last time, Zac really knows this horse. The horse has really improved this season and his work has been great,' Cheung said.
Yiu produced the first two winners of the night, Sohna - which benefitted from a drop to Class Five - and the impressive last-to-first Class Four winner Happy Champion (Alex Lai Hoi-wing).
'He had shown us a lot at the trials, we weren't completely confident because he drew 12,' Cheung said.
'But the pace was so fast it allowed him to get into the race. He has some real quality but is still green.'
Not only did the pace help the first two winners, so did an apparent bias to the outside of the track.
The rail was in the B position for the first time since the day meeting on October 23, another meeting where horses seemed to struggle on the inside part of the straight and run-on horses were favoured.
Tony Cruz also notched a double and his first winner, Let's Goal, benefitted from Gerald Mosse getting to the better ground.
Let's Goal had been well-supported in betting in recent starts and finally saluted at his 14th try in a Class Four handicap (1,650m).
Cruz's other winner was tough sprinter-miler Crown Witness, which overcame a wide gate - and a riderless horse - in the Queen's Road Central Handicap (1,200m).
Jumping from barrier 12, Matthew Chadwick put the gelding right on the speed outside Good Boy Boy.
But skirting around both of them was the runaway Affluence Of Rain, which had dumped jockey Tye Angland at the barriers.
'I was a bit worried when it came around us, but I think it interfered with the leader more than us,' Cruz said.
'This horse is very fit, he may have drawn a wide barrier but he has got the speed to get across and then go on with it.' Speedy sprinter Aerosa showed he is more than a one-act affair with a polished display in a class 3 handicap (1,200m).
The Manfred Man Ka-leung-trained four-year-old sat just in behind the speed with jockey Douglas Whyte displaying the horse's new-found maturity.
'I didn't want to lead,' Whyte said. 'When I led at his first start, he drew 14 and when I took him to the start he was a bit new and I was worried about how he would handle being back in the field. He won nicely and he is certainly not done with yet.'
Chater Power had one win from 46 starts at the start of this season, but the eight-year-old seems to be making up for lost time and has already notched two wins this season.
Trainer David Ferraris said he was stunned at the way the horse seemed to be hitting his best form at this late stage of his career and paid tribute to the patience of the Hong Kong Cricket Club Syndicate.
After a first-up win early in the season, Chater Power was slugged eight points in the handicaps. Jockey Jeff Lloyd did the trick and steered the galloper to a 1 ?length win in the Grayburn Handicap (Class Four, 1,200m).
'It was a hell of a win,' Ferraris said.
Howard Chang Yue-tin was given a two-meeting careless riding suspension and will miss the two meetings in international week.