Trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fai had an all-round good day out at Sha Tin to match the all-round good season he has enjoyed, despite farewelling his champion sprinter Sacred Kingdom.
Sacred Kingdom was named for a Lifetime Achievement Award during the Champion Awards ceremonies at the meeting and Yiu's two-year-old Amber Sky took the Champion Griffin award, with Yiu holding high hopes he will make into an exciting sprinter next season. Could he be a replacement for Sacred Kingdom?
'I don't think you could say that he will replace Sacred Kingdom, that's a long way away, but I do think he is a horse I have some hopes for next year,' Yiu said. 'So far, he has only been up the straight course and stayed unbeaten but I'm looking forward to seeing how he goes when we put him on the turn. That will be interesting. I'll be trying to make him keep looking good too.'
Elsewhere, Yiu-trained Be-Fabulous (Jacky Tong Chi-kit) built on the his record to make it two wins from three starts, ascending to Class Three successfully over the 1,200m course where he won three weeks earlier and giving Yiu his 500th career win in the process.
'I'm happy, this has been one of my best seasons, in terms of the number of winners, and I guess these things are always a little bit exciting. Of course, I knew it was coming up and if it didn't happen today, I would have got it next season,' Yiu smiled.
'The horse himself, I like him. Today from the better draw, he got cover and was more relaxed than when he had to push forward from the outside last time when he won. I think he'll make it into a genuine Class Two horse next season and I'll gradually step him up from 1,200m - I think he will get a mile eventually.'
The win took Yiu to 45 for the season and he took fifth place on the final trainers' championship ladder.