Lui's two imports progressing nicely
Francis Lui Kin-wai may be having a quiet time of late, but the stable's two imports Zachary and Happy Ceramibo are coming along nicely, judging by their eye-catching efforts on Sunday at Sha Tin.
Zachary stepped out for the fourth time in the Class Three Elegant Fashion Handicap (1,600m) and, following three non-existent earlier outings, was almost at cricket-score odds.
He was snagged back and ridden along to stay in touch after breaking from gate 12, ran into a wall behind Liberty Valance, Flying Unicorn and Amityship from the 400m until switching outside Amityship at the 200m before finishing up nicely to come up a luckless fourth, beaten 11/2 lengths by debutant Great Stories.
Zachary arrived off a mark of 73 and raced under the same name for Peter Snowden in Australia, winning twice over 1,100m at Caulfield and a mile at Kembla Grange, and was five-times placed up to 2,000m.
The four-year-old is a son of smart shuttling Danehill stallion Commands, a four-time winner from 1,100m to 1,400m, and the successful local sire of 19 winners from 22 starters.
He's out of the good race-mare Zacheline, a daughter of Zabeel who was a four-time winner from 1,600m to 2,500m. Being by a Zabeel, Zachary is likely to get better with age and has the pedigree to handle a move to the all-weather surface as well.
Happy Ceramibo has progressed nicely from one run to another. He caught the eye in his second run when finishing off a creditable eighth - 21/2 lengths off the winner Moneymaker over 1,200m - and attracted significant interest to come down from $460 to $220 in the Class Three Maybach Race (1,2000m).
The gelding jumped well for Weichong Marwing to travel third along the inside, was placed under pressure entering the final bend and kept on well to finish a distant second behind promising Cosmic Boom.
The three-year-old Australian import landed off a mark of 67 after erasing his maiden status second-up with a move to blinkers over 1,400m at Ballarat on a heavy track.
Happy Ceramibo is a son of Antonius Puis, a short-course Group Three winner up to 1,400m in Ireland and a Breeders' Cup Mile runner-up; and the local sire of the multiple sprint-winner All Victory. His mother Rancho Ruler has produced four others winners from 1,200m to 2,000m.