Ng's key to success this term has been to stay out of trouble

Leading apprentice Alvin Ng Ka-chun said he was getting the benefits of staying out of the stewards' room this season after guiding Real General to his second successive win. It took Real General 21 starts to win his first race in Class Five but he always looked a threat to make it another in Class Four yesterday after a copybook ride from the junior, who has had just one careless-riding ban this term in contrast to the six penalties he waited out last season. Dropping 22 pounds in the weights with the rise in class, Real General bounced out, too the box seat then kicked on well. "I'm feeling more confident now," Ng said. Last season, I was getting suspended all the time and that made me nervous and it meant I wasn't riding either. I wasn't learning anything by not riding." Alan Aitken


Hood does the trick for previously wayward youngster

John Moore and Neil Callan provided one of the day's blowout results, with three-year-old Maroon Prince finding everything but the all-weather kickback just right to break through for his first win at 26-1. In two previous turf starts, Maroon Prince had hurt his chances by fighting the rider but with a hood going on yesterday and a much faster pace in front of him, he didn't get the chance to overspend his energy. "He was more relaxed in the hood, but he didn't like the kickback," said Callan. "He'll pay his way as he matures." Alan Aitken


Solid work in the mornings by Fourie pays dividends

The progeny of Elusive Quality have made a real name for themselves on the all-weather track here and the Tony Millard-trained Great Sky became the latest with a swamping run from the rear to win the ninth race. From barrier 12, jockey Richard Fourie said he had no real option but to go back on Great Sky but he was helped by a competitive lead. "If he drew better, he can race closer but it wasn't a choice to try to be closer because that would have used him up. So we went back, and there was a really solid pace," Fourie explained. "Hong Kong is very tough to get winners but it helps when you are riding horses you know and I've been doing a lot of ground work with this guy in the mornings, getting him to change legs in his slow work, not just to educate him but to build his strength. Alan Aitken