Lui helps keep Fownes' yard in title contention
Ten-pound claimer Dicky Lui Cheuk-yin bought himself a fresh look from Caspar Fownes after scoring his first win for the yard yesterday as part of a double that keeps Fownes in the four-cornered fight for the trainers' championship.
While Dennis Yip Chor-hong was getting all the attention by hitting the front over John Size for the first time, Fownes-trained City Of Lights (Lui) and Slick Bullet (Tye Angland) kept him ticking up to a half century, three off the pace and two ahead of Tony Cruz.
The Class Five win by City Of Lights in a rare straight sprint for the cellar dwellers was the first success for owner Didier Li Kwok-wai - son of the late Jockey Club chairman, Alan Li Fook-sum - since Fever Pitch won on international day 2007.
"It's great to get a winner again for Didier, who is a mate as well as an owner. The Li family had horses with my dad before me and we go back a long way," said Fownes, whose best win for the family was a 2005 Queen Mother Cup with Saturn.
"It has taken a while with this horse. I thought he was going to be better than this but he's been very nervous and done a few things wrong in races. Today was probably the most relaxed he's been saddling up and hopefully now he can made the step up to Class Four."
He added: "I put Dicky [Lui] on one in November and wasn't totally happy, so he was on probation but today has probably earned him another chance," Fownes said.
Slick Bullet's third all-weather sprint win of the season was helped by the slushy track and the neck margin wasn't too impressive, but Angland said it was better than it looked.
It was the highlight of Angland's day, with the Australian the afternoon's only victim in the stewards' room, earning a two-day careless riding ban for his effort on Young Talent in the fifth.