Homework pays dividends for Danny Shum
Shum's well-executed strategies lead to two dominant all-the-way victories for the stable
Homework and a touch of local knowledge paid handsome dividends for Danny Shum Chap-shing, as aggressive strategies led to two dominant all-the-way wins for the trainer.
Happy Ceramibo, first-up for the season and the stable, set the tone for the on-pace domination to come, with his jump-and-run effort in the opening event, the slick time of 1.09.47 well under standard for 1,200m.
In a well-executed, pre-meditated move, Tye Angland had eyes only for the front from gate seven.
"I studied the race and they didn't look like they would go fast, so I told Tye to go and try and lead," Shum said. "The penetrometer reading was only 2.7 and on a hard track it is hard to come from behind, especially in an early race and with the rail in the "B" position."
Happy Ceramibo's maiden win was over 1,400m, and he had been stretched to the trip for previous trainer Francis Lui Kin-wai, but Shum said he would restrict the slight gelding to shorter trips for now.
"He is only small, so I won't try and take him back to seven furlongs, at least not yet. Maybe we will go to Happy Valley, 1,200m next time," Shum said. Shum was hoping the fast time didn't lead to handicappers putting the four-year-old up in grade, who won off 55 yesterday, although Angland was confident the Australian import could "run a race in the bottom of Class Three".
"He ran along, but he did it under his own steam, and I think that if a horse had come up to challenge him he would have found something again," he said.
Alex Lai Hoi-wing rode his 200th winner when Shum's What A Heart sprang from a wide gate on the dirt and just kept on going for a 4¼-length win.
"From that outside gate we decided to hunt him out, it took a while to get to the front, but I just kept riding him out ... sometimes on the dirt you've just got to do that, you need momentum," said Lai, who was unaware of his personal milestone until after the race.
What A Heart battled bleeding issues previously, but Shum said maturation may have eased the problem, and expected the six-year-old to continue his good form on the all-weather track.
"He has got some ability, this owner is very kind and gave me lots of time. He gave me the option, he said 'If he is no good, get rid of him' but I decided to keep him so we could win a race," Shum said.