Garlic Boy 'is a stayer in the making'
Dennis Yip Chor-hong had some doubts over Garlic Boy's final sectionals - but none regarding the budding stayer's ability - and jockey Tye Angland claimed the effortless victory might have been even better than it looked.
Garlic Boy won by 1-1/2 lengths, eased down by Angland, as the shortest-priced favourite of the day and gave Yip the first half of a training double.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club timing system had Garlic Boy closing off his last 400m in 21.68s, after he impressively sprinted from the rear off a relatively slow pace.
"I don't think I believe that time, 21-something, but he is a very good horse and he can run a very fast sectional," Yip said. "His long term future is as a stayer - he'll get up to 1,800m or 2,000m easily."
Angland agreed, saying he could have won by "five lengths" had he released the handbrake on the four-year-old.
"He had trialled well and done everything right in the lead up and he put it all together today," Angland said. "He showed a great turn of foot coming round the turn - a lot of young horses can get lost there."
Angland took the ride after Zac Purton, who had ridden the horse in trials and first race start was unable to take rides in the first two races because of his commitments in Japan. As it turned out, Purton was there for the first two races because of flight re-scheduling and watched on from the jockeys' room.
While praising the quality of the winner, Angland warned the quality of the race might not stand up to much scrutiny.
"That horse has got a great future, but that field must have been the worst in Class Four this season," he said.
Yip's second win, his fourth of the season, came when Eddie Lai Wai-ming drove Real Generous home in the Chongqing Handicap, after finding a handy position in the run.
"We could see that this race would be run at a slow pace and the instructions to Eddie were to get into the box seat or close behind the speed," Yip explained.
The Class Three win was the five-year-old's second over 1,800m and his fourth in 15 starts.
"I think he has another decent win in him and he can win over 2,000m in the future," Yip said.