Flamboyant French jockey Olivier Doleuze joked that a musical collaboration could be on the cards with Canto-pop star Edmond So Chi-wai after American import Marqula finally broke through at Sha Tin.
Doleuze is a keen electronic music maker, producing some catchy ambient/trance house tunes in his makeshift home studio, and on Sunday he was able to deliver a long-awaited winner for a superstar of the local music scene.
So is one third of the group Grasshopper, who were giants of the local music scene in the late 80s and early 90s.
“You never know, I would love to mix some tunes with him – we can do a duet,” Doleuze said after he celebrated the two-length win with a fist pump. “But seriously, that win meant a lot because this horse really struggled last season and it didn’t look good for him. The connections have been very patient.”
Indeed, Marqula was beaten a combined 76-and-a-half lengths at his first two starts for trainer Michael Chang Chun-wai and the term “well sold” was being bandied about for a prospect who looked to have a limited future.
Marqula’s Class Four triumph marked the third consecutive meeting an American-bred horse has won, after Dundonnell last Sunday and Sharp Sailor midweek, but that is a statistical anomaly for a country whose bloodstock make up a small segment of the horse population at Sha Tin.
Doleuze said the mile success augurs well for the future and that middle distance races were now on the radar as the five-year-old goes back into Class Three.
“He has just started to acclimatise and he is now in the right place mentally and physically,” Doleuze said. “I think he can go and win up in grade. He will get one mile-plus, and that can make it easier for him in Class Three. At least it gives him more options.”
Earlier in the day Chang landed some monster bets when 38-1 outsider Hall Of Fame (Matthew Poon Ming-fai) beat 15-1 shot Fortune Giggles (Nash Rawiller) for a quinella that paid HK$3,599 for a HK$10 investment.
“That was the first stable quinella of my career,” Chang said. “I thought he could run a good race, he was getting low in the ratings and we put the claimer on at the right time.”