Dennis Yip Chor-hong’s new campaign is off to a flying start after Winning Controller and Goko carried on their good form from last season to give the trainer a running double on Sunday at Sha Tin.
Winning Controller saluted in race six – a Class Four over 1,400m – while Goko surged home to win the Class Three Cotton Tree Handicap (1,000m).
Both horses won at their last starts back in July and Yip wasn’t surprised to see them getting the job done again.
“Today I got two winners carrying on from last season’s form, we came to this race after only a one-and-a-half month break and also both horses trialled well at the carnival,” he said.
Winning Controller sat fourth in the run underneath Jack Wong Ho-nam, with Wong making his move at the stop of the straight.
Winning Controller found the lead at the 300m mark and held on to win by a neck from Zac Purton and Beauty Day.
Horses carrying on their strong form from last term was very much a theme of the day and Goko now has three wins from his last four starts, negotiating the step up to Class Three with aplomb on Sunday with Eddy Lai Wai-ming in the saddle.
He was looking anything but the winner in the early stages, however, dropping out to last before Lai eased him out to the middle of the track, with the five-year-old finishing in a flurry.
“For Goko, I was a little bit surprised he came from behind,” Yip said. “I’m thinking he will stay longer, but I’m not sure [where he will go]. I will check the programme first.”
Yip trained 40 winners last season to finish safely inside the top 10 and will take confidence from his first-up effort as he bids to exceed that tally.