Danny Shum Chap-shing is building another stellar season but is already looking towards next term with three-year-old sprinter Golden Dash.
Shum was one of the big movers in 2016-17, finishing fifth in the trainers’ championship and finding a host of talented young horses.
Sunday’s treble with Golden Dash, Sun Touch and Everest took him to 37 winners and within three of second-placed Frankie Lor Fu-chuen after 54 meetings.
Golden Dash (Nash Rawiller) made it two-from-four with a half-length victory but Shum said the gelding would be run sparingly in the second half of this term.
“The pressure is off now, we have got the owners a couple of wins, and I think the best thing is to take care of the horse,” he said. “He isn’t a small horse, he is around 1,080 pounds, but I think if we can get 10 or 15 pounds on him he will come back bigger and stronger.”
Shum’s other two winners may have lacked the same overall upside as Golden Dash but the trainer was still hopeful of future success.
Sun Touch (Dylan Mo Hin-tung) promised more than he has delivered in early trials and starts, taking 12 runs and a drop into Class Four to finally breakthrough in January.
A jump back into Class Three hasn’t stopped the five-year-old’s revival and an all-the-way effort is the sign of a changed horse according to the trainer.
“Something has changed with him for sure, he was trying to do everything all at once before,” Shum said. “Even in his last win he was just going hard the whole way, but it seems like he has matured in his mind a little bit. He only had a light weight there today of course but I think he can win again if he keeps getting more mature.”
Mo wasn’t taking any credit for Sun Touch’s win, other than to say; “I didn’t make any mistakes”.
“That’s all I had to do really, just not mess it up,” he said.
It was fellow apprentice Matthew Poon Ming-fai that was given a similar armchair ride on Everest in the last to give Shum a race-to-race double to close the meeting.
Shum gave Poon strict instructions before the race after the trainer was unhappy with the jockey’s timing in front last time.
“I told him ‘make them chase you’, he had a lightweight so you have make the other horses work,” he said.