Matthew Chadwick insists he didn’t feel any extra satisfaction when his mount Winner’s Way finished ahead of his former ride Pakistan Star last start but the jockey certainly hopes he can do it again in Sunday’s Hong Kong Classic Cup.
Chadwick had ridden Pakistan Star at his first two starts, both wins, before three straight defeats as odds-on favourite saw the former star apprentice replaced.
Joao Moreira took over on Pakistan Star in the Griffin Trophy, and Chadwick was again overlooked for the ride on the popular horse last start in the Hong Kong Classic Mile.
Silvestre de Sousa was engaged for the first leg of the four-year-old series but Chadwick and Winner’s Way were able to shade them for fourth after Pakistan Star endured a torrid run out wide.
Rapper Dragon (ex Street Rapper) soars in $10m HK Classic Mile from Seasons Bloom (ex Le Capitaine) & Beauty Generation (ex Montaigne) pic.twitter.com/yRVF2tZcrS— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) January 22, 2017
“I wasn’t surprised, he was travelling wide and burnt himself off early, and I had a better run, so I would have been disappointed if I didn’t finish ahead of him,” Chadwick said.
“It didn’t matter from a personal standpoint, it didn’t make any difference to me and I hope Pakistan Star runs well.”
Winner’s Way didn’t have things go all his way when beaten three-and-a-half lengths by Rapper Dragon in the Classic Mile either.
Jumping from a wide gate, Chadwick was squeezed up at the start between runners before working across to sit outside the lead.
Chadwick again has a wide draw to deal with on Sunday and also the query surrounding his horse stepping up to 1,800m for the first time.
“There is a slight question mark, but last time he travelled nicely because I didn’t rev him up and we took our time to get to the front,” Chadwick said.
“We didn’t go fast, but he can maintain a high tempo and on Sunday I’ll be in the first three or four, at worst. He isn’t alone in having a question mark over whether he gets the distance or not.”
Winner’s Way will not only be joined by Pakistan Star, who drew a horror gate with barrier 11, but also California Whip, giving Tony Cruz three runners in the HK$10 million event.
California Whip is in a similar situation to Winner’s Way having performed impressively over shorter trips but now trying 1,800m for the first time.
Jockey Neil Callan said that although California Whip showed speed on the dirt over 1,200m, that was no reason to totally discount the horse beyond a mile.
“He ran great time on the dirt and he won well, but he was entitled to, he was the best horse in the race,” Callan said of the son of Starcraft, who is coming off a last start second to Western Express, a rival on Sunday.
“My horse’s mile form overseas and his 1,400m form here is quite strong. Of course we won’t really know about further until he tries.”
Outside of the unknown of distance, Callan does have some factors in his favour, including barrier one and the chance to sit handy in what could be a slowly run race.
“He is fit, in form and he hasn’t been exposed to these top horses yet, he is on the way up and we can find out how he measures up on Sunday,” he said.