One-time “soft track” horses Super Turbo and Victory Boys showed that consistency trumps conditions when the ultra-consistent pair delivered David Hall a Happy Valley double on Wednesday night.
Victory Boys (Sam Clipperton) and Super Turbo (Joao Moreira) didn’t turn a hair on the good to firm surface as each stormed home to win from well back, the latter in the night’s feature, the Class Two France Galop Cup.
“Talk about models of consistency. Both of them have been in form all season and it doesn’t seem to matter what they get thrown at them,” Hall said.
“When Super Turbo ran a great race here at 100-1 his first start at the end of last season, everyone thought it was the soft track that helped him. But he’s just a horse who gives you his best all the time.
“In saying that, I think he could even be a bit better with give in the ground but he just keeps turning up in all conditions anyway. He had a bit to do on the home turn tonight but still won clearly.”
Victory Boys was another thought to want soft going after he took quite a few runs to hit winning form in Class Five but, with seven starts this season for two wins and five placings, he has shown he is anything but a one-trick pony.
“Even at Sha Tin the other day, where the track is harder than Happy Valley and it has been very firm lately, although he got beaten it was nothing to do with the firm track,” Hall said.
“He had to make a long sprint the way the race panned out from the wide draw and General Sherman picked him off late. Coming back here with a good draw, he didn’t have as much to do.”
Local rider Keith Yeung Ming-lun landed his 200th career winner on Love Chunghwa for Benno Yung Tin-pang, as the seven-year-old broke through for his first Hong Kong victory.
“It goes without saying from his record – he needs a lot to go right for him and tonight it did,” said Yung, who brought the gelding back to a Valley sprint after disappointment on the dirt last time at 1,650m.
“He trialled so well on the dirt and we thought we’d try him there but he got a wet track and a wide draw and that was that. When I legged Keith up tonight I said ‘we’ve got the draw, the weight, he’s come down in the ratings so there is no excuse if he can’t win’ and that’s how it turned out.”
Also the beneficiary of a ratings drop was the Caspar Fownes-trained Grace Heart (Zac Purton), who had not won for 18 months before he took out the Class Four over 1,000m.
“He has always gone well fresh and he won first-up last season – that’s September, 2015 – but he has struggled since then,” Fownes said.
“He was struggling again mid-season after he came back to Class Four, so I gave him some time off and brought him back tonight on a rating where you just knew he’d be hard to beat if he brought his old form.”
In other news, Tommy Berry will not to come to ride Helene Paragon in the Champions & Chater Cup on Sunday week after the John Moore-trained horse injured himself in a gallop.
“It’s nothing serious, it was like a sportsman pulling a hamstring,” said Moore on Wednesday night. “With some R&R he’ll be fine but he won’t be running so Tommy will stay home and Hugh Bowman will ride all mine that day.”
Meanwhile, Karis Teetan copped a two-day suspension for his ride on Easy Hedge in the third race and will miss the meetings on June 11 and 14.