Dennis Yip Chor-hong’s team has been ticking over quite nicely this season and one horse who has yet to win a race but could soon change that status is the four-year-old Kiwi Sunrise.
Kiwi Sunrise had the sixth start of his life on the weekend behind Planet Star and earned the first stake money of his career in finishing fifth, more than three lengths from the winner, but he should have been considerably closer.
In fact, despite his unplaced runs prior, Kiwi Sunrise has been on the improve for several starts.
He ran on well behind Phantom Falcon when eighth over an unsuitable 1,200m three starts ago then he was very solid behind Ambitious Heart over 1,400m, although 11th on paper, as he was extremely wide in the race but still made ground at the finish.
This time, his problem was the opposite, with an inside draw allowing him to get a kinder run on the rail. His problem started before the home turn however, as he was following outsider Rocket Go, who put the white flag up at least 600m from the finish and began to fall back.
There was nowhere for Kiwi Sunrise to go and he had to keep coming back to stay off the heels of Rocket Go while other horses were launching their finishing runs. By the time Alexis Badel was able to put his foot down on Kiwi Sunrise, the race was gone but the gelding made good ground late.
In the very next race, the Paul O’Sullivan-trained Dashing Dart finished seventh behind Elusive State but had similar traffic problems as he confirmed what many had already suspected – he might be a better dirt horse than turf runner.
Although Dashing Dart has won two races over 1,600m at Sha Tin’s main track, he has always trialled well on dirt.
He got his first chance under race conditions on Saturday, but, like Kiwi Sunrise, he became a victim of an inside passage. He too was stuck in his lane as the leaders weakened in the straight then made good ground when he got clear in the final 100m.