Michael Chang Chun-wai finally found his first winner of the season on Wednesday night and jockey Callan Murray hopes he can keep the momentum rolling for the popular trainer at Sha Tin on Saturday.
The pair team up with Mega Red and Enfolding in the final two races and Murray is confident there is a winner among them.
“I’d love to ride a winner for him because he’s been really helpful to me,” Murray said of Chang. “He’s been supporting me a lot since I’ve been here so I’m really grateful.”
Mega Red steps out in the Class Two Tsuen Lok Handicap (1,200m) on the all-weather track in his first run for Chang after transferring from the Caspar Fownes stable.
Better call Saul! Trainer Michael Chang gets off the mark for the season as his stable star Saul's Special and @zpurton deny that man Fownes a treble by a whisker in R7. #HKRacing pic.twitter.com/0bOus7mlVq— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) October 10, 2018
Chang has built a reputation for getting the best out of troubled horses and Mega Red has had his fair share of issues, with a tendon injury keeping him away from the track for over a year.
The seven-year-old was withdrawn from this meeting 12 months ago because of the injury and it has been a slow road back, but Murray is confident those issues are behind the gelding.
“He felt perfect in his trial,” Murray said of the horse, who also had tendon problems in 2016 when trained by Francis Lui Kin-wai. “He’s just had the one trial but he’s a horse that’s done really well.”
Mega Red has compiled a solid record when he’s been able to make it to the track, but the dirt is his specialty with two wins and a second from three starts on the surface.
Both wins came at this course and distance, one in Class Three and one in Class Two.
“The dirt is where he’s been most competitive, obviously he’s a horse that had his issues and Michael is very well known for resolving some of them,” Murray said.
Enfolding is having only his second start in Hong Kong after running eighth on debut here a month ago but Murray is confident the four-year-old is on the way up.
The gelding runs in the Class Three Yeung Uk Handicap (1,400m) but may need further, with his two wins in England before coming to Hong Kong over the 1,895m at Wolverhampton.
“Enfolding trialled really well, better than his first run. I’d hope to see him improve because his work was good,” the jockey said.
Murray is in a similar boat to Chang in the sense that he is also looking to build some momentum on the back of snaring his first winner of the season on Sunday after a suspension and a broken nose hindered him during the first month.
“I just need to try and keep the winners on. Obviously it’s quite difficult here but trainers are supporting me and I’m grateful,” said the 20-year-old, adding he’s looking forward to the break that results from this weekend’s races falling on Saturday and next week’s Happy Valley meeting being held on a Thursday.
“It’s easier, it’ll be nice to have a Sunday off, especially with next Thursday racing, to give my body a bit of time to relax.”