Trainer Caspar Fownes was absent on holidays for only the last 21 races but made it three wins in that time when Double Point and Gonna Run gave him a welcome New Year’s double.
Gonna Run (Vincent Ho Chak-yiu), who came here with a fifth in the French Derby to his credit, finally broke through in Class Three at start 11 and has taken quite a while to adjust to life in Hong Kong.
“Even today, the track was a bit on the firm side for him but he is settling in better, coping better with this place and with the hard tracks than he was,” said Fownes’ sister and stable spokesperson, Fenella.
“Cas always does well backing horses up quickly and this guy’s run on Sunday over 1,400m was quite good. He’s held that form today and the extra 200m was in his favour. He has taken time but he seems on the upgrade again now.”
Double Point didn’t arrive with Derby form from anywhere but he did have a fourth in Listed class at Deauville to his credit and jockey Neil Callan said he was surprised it had taken the gelding until halfway down Class Five to break through.
“You’d think that form would be a bit better than the level he’s got down to,” said Callan, who had the honour of being the first race winner of 2016. “He hadn’t been racing badly but he’d had a couple of wide gates the last two that didn’t help. Back to an inside draw today, he began well and I was able to put him in the box seat and he didn’t have to do much in the run and scraped in.
“He’s fairly one-paced which might make you think he wants further but I think this 1,400m is his distance – he can’t really pick up if they stop and start on him and the mile appeared to stretch him too far when he’s tried it a couple of times lately.”