It had been over three years since Pikachu last tasted success at Sha Tin, but the seven-year-old made the most of Victor Wong Chun’s 10-pound claim to take out the Class Two Happy Valley Clubhouse Handicap on Sunday.
That was February 7, 2015 – winning over 1,400m with Maxime Guyon in the saddle – and since then Pikachu has done his best work at the city track.
But he took advantage of a lacklustre Class Two, Wong settling him midfield as Jolly Gene set a strong gallop before running over the top of his rivals in the straight.
Tony Cruz’s Hong Kong debutant Stimulation put in an eye-catching run to grab second, just ahead of Imperial Gallantry.
Pikachu takes his earnings to HK$9.4m with a strong win under apprentice Victor Wong in the fourth. The first son of Deep Impact in training in Hong Kong, Stimulation, was second at his local debut #HKRacing pic.twitter.com/ueWAteM5Er— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) June 10, 2018
The win completed a double for David Ferraris and the trainer thinks the light weight was the key.
“The 10-pound claim in this weak race, that’s what did the trick,” he said of the consistent gelding who has now won six of his 53 starts.
“Pikachu has been a great horse to us. His earnings are now over HK$9 million, he’s incredible. He’s a lovely horse to train.”
The other factor at play was Pikachu being able to leave the gates cleanly.
“He was just not jumping but he seems to have overcome that because they leave the blindfold on until the last five seconds, then they rip it off and he jumps,” Ferraris said.
“If they take it off too early, he’ll miss the kick and you can’t miss the kick with a 10-pound claimer.”
Earlier, the stable took out the Class Five Timeless Traditions Handicap (1,650m) with Soccer Brave.
Soccer Brave was prominent all the way, but it was the urgency displayed by Alberto Sanna in the dying stages that really impressed Ferraris.
“Well that’s what trainers sometimes need. They don’t need to have those half-hearted attempts at putting their hands down. That’s why we’re giving him rides,” Ferraris said.
“He’s got a licence for next season and I certainly will be helping him. He’s riding a lot of horses for me today and I certainly will continue to support him because trainers like to see jockeys get vigorous on horses, especially weak Class Five horses – they need help and that’s exactly what he provides.”