Yeung piling up unwanted holidays

Apprentice Thomas Yeung Kai-tong is piling up the rostered days off after gathering his second three-day suspension for the week yesterday.

Yeung pleaded guilty to careless riding over an incident early in the ninth event which saw interference to Celebration, Man In The Mirror and Summerville Power, and received a ban that will commence after the three days he was given at the Lunar New Year meeting.

Yeung starts a suspension today that will end on March 8 and yesterday's suspension is now due to start that same day. The apprentice is eligible to ride again from March 19.

Eddie Lai Wai-ming also found himself in trouble at an adjourned inquiry into interference last Tuesday. Lai was banned for two days and fined HK$15,000 for his ride on Fat Dragon.

The narrow win by Connoisseur's Love (Terry Wong Chi-wai) wasn't so notable in itself but for trainer Andreas Schutz it had some meaning.

'Five of the horses I have I got from David Oughton when he retired and this was the first one to be able to win,' he said.

'Actually, I originally thought of this 1,600-metre race as a start on the way to a more suitable longer race next time because he hadn't run for two months and needed a race.

'But when the entries came out and it was clear there was no speed in it, I became more confident. Then when Terry was able to get him a few lengths in front, I was happy because I knew he would be very strong at the finish of a mile since he gets 1,800 metres and even 2,000 metres.'

John Size is at it again, bringing lightly raced Bajan Bell (Douglas Whyte) off a Class Five win to score even more decisively in Class Four and it may not end there.

'I said last time that the horse had shown ability but had been beset by niggling problems as long as he's been here,' Size reiterated yesterday.

'For the moment, he seems to be sound so he was able to win again and did it well.'

With stable star Armada not to run in the Hong Kong Gold Cup next weekend, Size said the Stewards' Cup winner's next target would be determined later this week when Armada trials on Friday morning.

Thunder Storm kept the winners ticking for Brett Prebble but his victory in the 1,400m Class Five contest almost fell under the 'acts of God' clause when runner-up Shatin Win Win put up a remarkable performance.

'I had a soft run through the race, the leaders went hard and I guess he had to give me something but the 'good' track reading helped - I doubt whether he would have won on a good to firm,' said Prebble, who added: 'Might have been a bit lucky as it was.'

Shatin Win Win missed the start by several lengths then drifted even further afield in the run as he approached the home turn at least six lengths behind the second-last horse and many more lengths off the leaders.

When Eric Saint-Martin got busy on the gelding, he leaped out of the ground to cut the winner down to less than a length at the wire.