Motif finally shines bright as Manfred Man snares a brace
Manfred Man Ka-leung was more relieved than overjoyed yesterday after a brace with London City and Motif continued his promising start to the season.
London City took the opener under a front-running Jack Wong Ho-nam ride before Motif finally broke through under stable rider Gerald Mosse, and it was the latter win that provided the most satisfaction.
"He's finally done it - it was only a matter of time," Man said. "He should have won last season. He kept drawing wide, but he was running well, running second, third, fourth. The day I thought he would win in April, he reared, and when he came back down he hit the front of his head on the barriers and he fractured a bone in his nose.
"It was frustrating - it wasn't serious but it just meant we had to take our time. And then in September, I had him ready to go and he was lame the day before the start of the season."
"He's a nice horse and I liked how he fought on today when the other horses came to challenge - they had their chance to get past him but he fought on."
London City was down in Class Five for the first time in the opening race, with Wong taking control of the race by letting London City stride clear under his own steam - he had opened up a five-length lead by the 600m and never looked like being headed.
"London City has a bit of a soft mouth, the boy learnt that last season when he rode him once - he tried to fight the horse and it bolted underneath him," Man said.
"Every jockey that has ridden him has said the same thing. He went out quite hard, there was a 21-and-a-half sectional there, but that was what I told him to do. I said, 'Don't fight the horse. Let him use his natural speed'. And it seemed to work out, especially down in class with 10 pounds off his back."
"Fingers crossed the handicapper doesn't put him up too much, with a light weight in Class Four he could do it again."
The double takes Man to 10 wins for the season and equal-fifth in the premiership after 17 meetings.