Early December can be a quiet time for apprentices as they are squeezed out of rides to make room for visiting international riders but Dylan Mo Hin-tung has maintained a winning run.
Mo has had a double at the past two Sha Tin meetings and two consecutive chances on Sunday on three-year-olds Ugly Warrior and Amazing Star give him a knockout chance of beating dominant favourite Joao Moreira in the Jockey Challenge.
Moreira was rated a $1.90 top pick in Jockey Challenge betting on Saturday night ahead of Nash Rawiller ($4) and Mo ($8).
Ugly Warrior might be one that has sneaked under the handicapper’s guard after going up just five points for a narrow debut win on the dirt.
The Me Tsui Yu-sak-trained sprinter now returns to the same course and distance carrying less weight than he did last start courtesy of Mo’s seven-pound claim in the Class Four Lukfook Jewellery PT Graceful Collection Handicap (1,200m).
Chris So Wai-yin has called on Mo’s claim for Amazing Star in the Class Three Lukfook Jewellery PT Bridal Collection (1,200m).
Punters dropped off Amazing Star after his debut defeat as 1.5 favourite up the straight but the son of Darci Brahma bounced back with a convincing win over 1,200m second-up.
Amazing Star faces old horses for the first time but gets in with just 107 pounds on his back once Mo’s allowance is taken into account.
Of course, as Mo found out on international day, it usually takes more than a double to beat Moreira in the Jockey Challenge.
Last Sunday Mo, Moreira and Zac Purton all rode doubles but Moreira’s three thirds and a second gave him the edge over his rivals.
Moreira’s overall numbers – he has eight rides and six of them were rated favourites on race eve – mean the Brazilian will be hard to beat again.
Mo’s other rides are rated outsiders but not all are completely out of contention.
City Legend is an intriguing runner as the four-year-old returns from a long injury lay-off in the Class Four Lukfook Jewellery Dear Q Collection (1,400m).
City Legend notched three seconds and a third from four starts last season before undergoing treatment for a left hind leg injury.
Benno Yung Tin-pang isn’t known for having his runners wound up first-up, in fact quite the opposite, but City Legend has had a solid preparation through three trials and barrier two on the C + 3 track should help.