The stars aligned for Sean Woods-trained dirt tracker Imperial Concorde but an upset win may not be enough for the trainer to avoid a licensing committee show cause hearing next month. Ben So Tik-hung steered the six-year-old to a first victory this season and said everything had panned out perfectly for the limited gelding. “He needs the race to be like that – the right pace, the track to be right, everything – and he got it,” So said. Woods now has 10 wins for the season, but now needs five more from the last three fixtures – and a total of 31 races – to avoid facing the licensing committee in a bid to retain his licence next season. So also confirmed he will spend a stint riding in Australia during the summer, working with Newcastle trainer Kris Lees. “I will spend around three weeks there and look forward to the experience,” So said. Michael Cox

Switch to blinkers makes all the difference for Benno Yung’s Mythical Emperor

Top jockey Zac Purton called for the gear change, then made no mistake with the execution as Benno Yung Tin-pang-trained Mythical Emperor broke through impressively for his first local win. Purton had been aboard the gelding at his previous run when Mythical Emperor loomed but couldn’t put away Borntoachieve in a similar 1,200m Class Three, but this time it was different. “He has always been a bit quirky and he had the race in hand but pulled up – his ears went everywhere the last bit the other day so I said to Benno he should put blinkers on him to get him focused,” Purton said. “That worked and I was confident we might see a better, tougher horse today coming back to the races after three weeks. Before then, he’d had some niggling little issues and Benno had to space his runs out as a result.” Alan Aitken

Australian rider Nash Rawiller continues hot run of form for top local handler Danny Shum

The Danny Shum Chap-shing-Nash Rawiller combination continued a rich run of form when the pair produced a double with Cheerful Boy and Athena Baby. Athena Baby, a three-time winner late last term, spent four months from October sidelined with a tendon injury but Shum said that may have been the key to the four-year-old’s fourth win. “All of that time resting means he is fresh, racing against tired horses now – it gives him an advantage,” Shum said, with Rawiller now having ridden seven winners for the stable this season, four of them in June. The Australian rider received a reprimand for shifting in on Athena Baby, but Olivier Doleuze didn’t escape suspension for careless riding on Superior Boy when finishing fourth to Rawiller’s other winner. Doleuze will miss the final two meetings of the season. Michael Cox

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