Troubled galloper gets all the favours for a change

It took all the favours for Linked Win to score in the first race of the season, the troubled galloper getting the perfect box-seat run from gate one. Both winning trainer Almond Lee and jockey Keith Yeung Ming-lun lamented Linked Win's nervous disposition, which they say has stopped the horse reaching his full potential and kept him in Class Five. "When I bought him, we thought he was a Class Two horse, at worst," Lee said. "But he just isn't suited to Hong Kong. There is something wrong with him," Yeung said. "We thought he was a pretty good horse, but he just doesn't like it here, sometimes at Happy Valley he just refuses to go out on to the track." Michael Cox


Moore opens his account after a long afternoon wait

John Moore produced his usual opening day win in Victory Master but he had to wait all afternoon for it and it was a struggle when it happened. The four-year-old seemed to take an age under Brett Prebble's urgings to get the better of Freak Zone in the final 150m, but Moore revealed he had exceeded the stable's expectations anyway. "Brett thought he would need the run and so did I but the drop to Class Three, the blinkers switched him on and he's able to win but he wasn't 100 per cent," Moore said. "Last season, he had a setback and we were forced to rush his Derby preparation and that didn't suit him, which was why he lost form." Alan Aitken


Busy stipes earn their stripes on day one

Stewards dished out two careless riding suspensions yesterday and Jackie Tong Chi-kit was at the centre of both, given two days for his ride in race eight on Bet On Me, after being on the receiving end of interference in the previous race. Keith Yeung Ming-lun (Rumba King) was also handed two days for his part in a race seven incident. Tong was also fined $5,000 for being found with a phone in the jockeys' room, Eddie Lai Wai-ming was fined the same amount for missing the pre-season jockeys' meeting and Brett Prebble was handed two fines - one of $3,000 for improper use of the whip on Majestic Falcon and $2,000 for a double declaration. Michael Cox