Rank outsider grabs Derby for local boys

Robin Parke

Top apprentice Mark Lei wrote his own small niche in Taipa racing history when 95-1 chance Creative Stories won the $1.4 million Macau Derby in front of almost 6,000 stunned fans yesterday. Lei came from near last in the 1,800-metre event to easily account for the Gary Moore-ridden Altruistic in misty conditions that had most spectators glued to the closed circuit television sets on the course.

For Lei and trainer K. K. Sin, once assistant to former Hong Kong champion Jerry Ng Chi-lam, it was an unforgettable day. Said Sin: 'Nobody gave us a chance, but I told Mark to let him drop right out and let him really run home. I thought there would be a good pace on and I knew there were doubts about some of them staying. I knew our fellow would stay all night.' Altruistic, who hung in throughout, was given every chance by Moore who was ultra-keen to win the Derby before his big Hong Kong date in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday. 'He just did not run it out strongly, but we gave it all we had,' said Moore.

In fact the winner was crowded for room by Moore on the runner-up going out of the straight the first time and the veterinary surgeon later reported that Creative Stories had returned with several cuts to his off foreleg. Another rank outsider, the George Williams-trained Splendid Dragon, ridden by New Zealander Toby Autridge, finished third leaving most tierce punters floored.

Race favourite Be A Good Horse, with crack French rider William Mongil up, finished fifth. More racing - Page 30