Maiden winner has the look of Winning Partners about him
There was more than one back story to the maiden win of Sean Woods-trained Mark Two, carrying the colours of one of Hong Kong's earliest international heroes, Winning Partners. Winning Partners was the 1993 winner of the Hong Kong Bowl, the race that became the Hong Kong Mile, and was trained by Neville Begg. And Winning Partners was also the name Mark Two had when he trialled in Sydney in 2011, trained by Begg's son, Graeme, and he was already destined to come to Hong Kong. "That was just after I'd got a licence to come here and when I heard the horse would be coming here as well, I got on in a couple of barrier trials," said Tim Clark. Alan Aitken
Royal Ascot winner 'won't be back until he's 100 per cent'
Danny Shum Chap-shing has elected not to go ahead with throat surgery for his Royal Ascot winner, Little Bridge, but he will be given a further break after failing this campaign. Shum confirmed after Fionn's Treasure (Alvin Ng Ka-chun) toughed out a win in the ninth race that Little Bridge will be missing from the first leg of the Group One Speed Series, the Centenary Sprint Cup later this month, and "won't be back until he's 100 per cent." As for Fionn's Treasure, who scraped in after dropping in grade, the trainer thanked rival handler Dennis Yip Chor-hong for the use of his apprentice rider Ng. "This horse needed the help of the seven-pound claim to win," he said. Alan Aitken
Former world champion miler makes an eye-catching return
Former world champion miler Good Ba Ba made a good start on justifying owner John Yuen Se-kit's decision to return him to training in Australia, with a strong-finishing fourth in a Group Three sprint in Melbourne yesterday. The winner of three successive Hong Kong Miles found the 1,200m at Flemington too short, but he produced an eye-catching fourth in the Standish Handicap. Trainer Rick Hore-Lacy was pleased with the effort and said Good Ba Ba would run again down the Flemington straight course over 1,000m on January 19, before getting ready for his main target, the 1,600m Carlyon Cup at Caulfield in early February. Alan Aitken