Galen Win took a back seat to the pair's Group One victory with Absolute Champion yesterday, but David Hall and Brett Prebble are quietly confident the four-year-old is a horse on the rise.
After having been touched off narrowly by Congratulation recently on Ouraja, Prebble went to school on the John Size-trained leader yesterday and never allowed him to get any sort of break on Galen Win into the straight, but Galen Win still had to carry 133 pounds and tough it out all down the running and did a good job to score.
'They had an opinion of him in Australia and he hasn't been like many of the horses you bring here as he's really taken to it,' Hall said. 'He had been excitable and prone to sweat up before, so the first thing we did was geld him and, when he arrived, he was fairly light and not a great picture but he recovered, put on condition and looks like he has a future.
'He's funny because he's bred to be quick, looks like a sprinter, yet he's won over 1,800m in Melbourne and Brett says he doesn't feel like a sprinter to ride.'
The Jockey Club has confirmed yesterday morning's South China Morning Post report that Canadian Emma-Jayne Wilson will join the jockey roster as the first woman granted club jockey status and she will commence her contract at next Saturday's Sha Tin meeting.
Wilson, who rides at 113 pounds, has ostensibly been called upon to alleviate the immediate shortage of lightweight riders due to suspensions, but has been granted a licence to ride from February 1 to April 2.
Punters didn't forget to back Winning Fellowship in the third yesterday and the gelding's last-to-first finish under Eric Saint-Martin landed a plunge and a carefully hatched plan.
Winning Fellowship had been beaten in his first attempt at 1,400m but trainer Danny Shum Chap-shing took off the gelding's blinkers yesterday, and it was a signal for punters to back him from $130 to $64.
'The plan was to ride him quietly and see if he would finish off and it worked,' said Saint-Martin, but his day didn't finish quite as well after receiving his sixth careless-riding ban for the season.
The guilty finding, at an inquiry held over from last Wednesday night, resulted in Saint-Martin being on the receiving end of a three-day suspension and a HK$50,000 fine. He will commence the ban after Saturday's Sha Tin meeting.
And star apprentice Marco Chui Kwan-lai was again in trouble after interference in the fourth yesterday. He will start a three-day ban after the February 9 meeting.