Double joy as Lui's lean season gets a pick-me-up
It has been a hard and tough season for trainer Francis Lui Kin-wai, but the popular handler continued to dig his way steadily out of the cellar with a timely double with a couple of his old stagers.
Telecom Gogo (Zac Purton) and The Only Kid (Gerald Mosse) gave Lui two of the first three events on the programme and took him to 12 wins for the term.
'It was difficult for the first six months of the season but the best I can say is that things have been improving this year,' said Lui.
For The Only Kid's owner, Sunny Wong Chi-tat, a second success in a week for the seven-year-old just about has the horse paid for, after he had purchased the gelding by tender last September for HK$800,000.
'The main thing is that Gerald rides this horse so well and so patiently - he's an old horse but he still has a really strong sprint, as long as you hold him up for as long as possible and give him a chance,' Lui explained. It was a farewell win for Mosse, who concluded his time on the Hong Kong roster for this current season yesterday and has returned to France.
Purton kept up his good record on Telecom Gogo in the Class Five - he was the first jockey to win on the six-year- old back in July 2009.
'I haven't been on him for two years, but that's four rides for two wins and a second,' Purton said.
'He's a horse who has his issues, which is why he is down in Class Five and he came to win by three-quarters of a length today but his old bones were hurting and he couldn't go through with it and only won by a nose. The win's probably a bonus.'
Telecom Gogo was probably at his best at Happy Valley most recently, but Lui said the races there now were just going too fast for him.
'He's better than Class Five grade but he has had problems for a while. Maybe he could go back to the Valley for 2,200m where the speed isn't as strong,' Lui said.