Tye Angland shows Braveness to snatch double
Australian produces two winning rides to notch his 36th and 37th victories for the season
Tye Angland's stellar season continued with a riding double of contrasting styles at Happy Valley last night - one an all out heads-up, heads-down thriller, while the other was a come-from-behind burst where he daringly weaved through gaps late.
The Australian jockey managed to hang on in a fighting finish on Braveness in the feature race after his earlier heroics on Winning Mascot.
Angland has consolidated his spot in the Jockeys' Championship top four with his 36th and 37th wins.
Caspar Fownes' Braveness has struggled with leg problems, but is living up to his name - the four-year-old made it back-to-back wins by lumping top weight from a wide draw in the Volunteers' Challenge Cup.
Brilliant Proposal (Mirco Demuro) looked to have nailed Braveness on the line, and even Angland thought he had been beaten, before the judge called it a victory by a nose.
"I thought he had got me," Angland said. "I never like to let myself think I've won in a photo because it's disappointing when you come back to find out you've lost."
Braveness now heads into Class Two, with Fownes saying he will "follow the programme" with the chestnut, but Angland is confident he can compete up in grade.
"He is in form and that's when horses can go up in class and win," he said.
While Angland was riding hard all the way up the straight on Braveness, on Dennis Yip Chor-hong's Winning Mascot, it was more a matter of finding a way through the pack on a horse trucking to the line with plenty in hand.
Forced back from gate 12, Angland found a nice spot on the fence, before taking some brave late splits to score.
"He has been unlucky lately, his last few runs have been pretty good - and when you ride them like that, you need luck, and we got it," Angland said.
Braveness gave Fownes the second leg of a double after Speedygonzalez (Joao Moreira) finally broke his local maiden in a restricted Class Four, a combination of blinkers and a drop back in distance working a treat.
"We pulled out all stops," Fownes said. "But to be fair, even though it has taken him 23 starts here to break through, he has been quite consistent and showed us some glimpses."
The night featured a pair of solid and successful betting moves, Class Four winner Panther Run (Derek Leung Ka-chun) was thumped from as much as $16 to start $9.50, while John Moore-trained Approve (Dicky Lui Cheuk-yin) was trimmed from around $5 to start $2.70 favourite.
"This horse is as honest as the day is long," Moore said of the four-year-old, which has now won three races this season after leading all the way, with Lui getting across from the widest gate.
"His racing pattern is to lead, but that was against the pattern according to the jockeys that I spoke to. I'm glad we stuck to our guns and rode him like that. It was a rare winner for me here, I really don't have many runners here."
Derek Cruz-trained Rainbow Fighter (Douglas Whyte) had support as he won his third race of the term, some pressure up front allowing the backmarker to steam home late and put himself into Class Two.
"He is racing well, all of our horses are at the moment," Cruz said. "He is very consistent and in great form, so I think he can do something with a light weight up in grade."
Tony Cruz brought Lucky Day back to the Valley with success, Matthew Chadwick producing a lovely ride; bouncing the four-year-old into a handy position, and then showing tenacity in a tight finish as he overcame the rapidly tiring Tomodachi.
Rookie Chris So Wai-yin kept his top three spot in the Trainer's Championship when Class Five battler Spicy Shrimp (Olivier Doleuze) gave him his 26th win of the season.
Stewards suspended Alvin Ng Ka-chun for two days after he was charged for careless riding on Gold Edition.
Demuro was given a two-day ban for his effort on Majestic Anthem in the last, but stewards reduced his penalty from three days after the Italian argued he attempted to straighten his mount as it shifted.