Jockey Ryan Moore did not take long to notch the first win of his club jockey tour, throwing Silver Dragon over the line to score in the second race last night at Happy Valley and getting plenty of credit for the victory.
Trainer Me Tsui Yu-sak celebrated a double an hour later when Timely Arrived (Keith Yeung Ming-lun) continued his progress with a third win since joining the yard four runs back, but stable stalwart Silver Dragon had not won for a year and needed something extra.
“He got a perfect ride from Moore and he needed it. He is very consistent, so he doesn’t drop down the ratings much this horse and it’s because he has no rating in hand that he needs help,” Tsui said.
Drizzling rain saw the track downgraded midway through the card from good to good to yielding, and horses on pace enjoyed an advantage as no wins came from further back than fifth all night.
Joao Moreira opened the card with Mission Possible at short odds for Danny Shum Chap-shing and he bookended the card when Caspar Fownes-trained Twin Delight got the on-pace bias to his advantage and turned around some modest recent efforts.
Shum said he was looking for more improvement from the three-year-old, Mission Possible, after breaking through at his fourth start.
“He’s only a young horse and he has a future. Hopefully, as he matures he will put on some weight and get stronger, and then he should get 1,400m,” Shum said.
Weight was an issue for the night’s Japan Racing Association Trophy winner, Peace N Prosperity (Silvestre de Sousa) and the reason the gelding’s owner asked trainer Manfred Man Ka-leung to run up a grade.
“He’s only a small horse, so the owner requested to run him in Class Two with a light handicap instead of Class Three where he has had to carry big weights all the time,” Man explained.
“Being a small horse, he is suited around this tight track, and the good draw and great ride got him the win.”
De Sousa was also involved in an incident at the finish of the fifth race that will see Kingston Jumbo restricted to running at day meetings for the time being.
The gelding shifted near the line on IJC night and caused Joao Moreira to fall and did something similar last night, interfering with another runner, and the lights on the track got the blame again.
Ambitious Dragon’s half-brother, Packing Dragon became the third horse out of Golden Gamble to win in recent years in Hong Kong when he broke his maiden status emphatically in the Class Four staying event.
Relishing the 2,200m, Packing Dragon got a perfectly rated ride from Gerald Mosse to lead throughout and put four lengths between himself and the rest at the post.
Ambitious Dragon was able to win fairly early in his career, but another out of Golden Gamble, Triumphant Dragon, took longer and Packing Dragon probably has more in common with him.
“He’s a late maturer still improving,” trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fai said. “There didn’t look much speed in the race, so I said to Gerald don’t be afraid to lead because he’s very fit.”
Neil Callan caught a three-day ban – starting on February 10 – for interference in race two that saw Brett Prebble (Animation Master) jammed into the rail passing the post the first time.
But Prebble was on the other side of things when he was fined HK$10,000 for misconduct following inappropriate behaviour towards the starter when Regency King bombed the jump in race six.