Tony Millard’s good day on Saturday at Sha Tin could have been even better and the South African horseman should soon add to his winners with Word Record and even Sunny Orient.
Millard only took four to the races and C P Power and Strathclyde came away winning while Sunny Orient finished fourth after covering ground and World Record was probably the good thing beaten of the day in the final event.
Wide barriers were the bane of World Record’s early career and his double-figure barrier on Saturday again did him no favours, with connections electing to ride him conservatively from out there.
That meant World Record was sitting with the tail-enders all the way to the home straight while winner Regency Bo Bo was enjoying a soft time up on the speed.
That tempo disadvantage wasn’t ultimately what beat World Record though as jockey Nash Rawiller elected to follow the favourite Fast Most Furious after straightening up then had nowhere to go when Zac Purton’s mount ran into a dead end.
By the time World Record was clear, the race had slipped away and he did a fantastic job late to get himself into a close third. The five-year-old was a certainty beaten at his first run for three months and that augurs well for the campaign ahead of him.
The second event looked an average contest on paper and might prove to be a poor form race, with a very slow tempo and a finish that could have turned out very differently, with neither The Full Bloom nor Let’s Take It Easy clear for the final 250m and both looked to be full of running.
It can be trap play finding horses to follow out of races like this but Sunny Orient’s effort at least confirmed he is going OK, after a decent run first-up this season and this time being caught wide off the track before his close fourth.
He is a winner of none from 17 in Hong Kong but is very well handicapped towards the bottom of Class Four and won’t have produce anything like his best to be competitive if Millard can find another weak event like the one on the weekend.