Yiu has plenty of Fun with a double

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 November, 2011, 12:00am


Ricky Yiu Poon-fai put the win of Fun Heroes down to staying pedigree, but was referring to the jockey, not the notoriously difficult horse.

The distance-race expertise of Neil Callan, who grabbed his first win for the season, was the key to his hard-to-handle horse's Class Three win over 1,800m, according to Yiu, who snared a double on the day.

Fun Heroes boasts a victory over Ambitious Dragon on his resume, but since that Class Four win in May 2010, the gelding has become better known for his inability to settle.

After a first-up win for Yiu following a stable change from David Ferraris, Fun Heroes became a nightmare for jockeys, overracing in five straight races.

His hard-going nature even contributed to a running and handling charge against Mark du Plessis.

With Callan aboard this time and side winkers applied, the five-year-old dropped the bit behind the speed and then showed too much dash to pull away for a convincing 21/2-length win.

'The English jockeys love to ride over the longer trips and they know how to judge the pace,' Yiu said.

Callan said getting the horse to relax was a process that began at trackwork.

'The key to him is sitting on him in the morning and just getting to know him,' he said.

The knowledge gained helped the rider come up with his winning plan. Rather than click the horse up to take a position, Callan surmised that from barrier two the horse would hold a position.

'I think jockeys have got that mindset where they think they've got to go hard for that first 100m,' he said. 'But he's got natural speed, so he doesn't need bustling up. He was perfect today and he stayed the trip.'

Callan rode five winners in a three-month stay last season, but it took close to half of that stint to get his first success.

'I came out last year very open minded,' he said. 'It was just going to be a bit of fun, with the nice weather and just be a good break. So I wasn't worried about when that first win would come.'

Yiu's other win came when grey Matsukaze (Vincent Ho Chak-yiu) had the stars align in a Class Four Handicap (1,400m).

'It was just his day today and everything was in his favour,' Yiu said. 'He got the five-pound claim and he really travelled for the kid, plus it wasn't a particularly strong field.'

Yiu said he was also surprised his horse handled the fast going.

'The jockeys are always coming back and saying the surface is too firm for him,' he said.