Jimmy Ting Koon-ho has been a revelation in his first season as a trainer but until now he’s been working largely with horses that are hand-me-downs, however that is all changing for the 45-year-old.
Until now only four of Ting’s horses were under his care when they had their first Hong Kong run, with Kasi Farasi the first of those to produce a victory at Sha Tin last weekend.
The other 23 of Ting’s 24 winners – which have him sitting fifth in the trainers’ championship – have come from horses that had run with another trainer before joining his stable, but he has a war chest of over 30 gallopers that are yet to run.
Two of those step out at Sha Tin on Sunday, with four-year-old Triumphant Horse lining up in the Class Three Nam Sang Wai Handicap (1,200m) and three-year-old Authentic Champ stepping out in the Class Four Kam Tin Handicap (1,000m).
Triumphant Horse comes to Hong Kong on the back of two wins from five starts in Australia – saluting at the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and Sandown in Victoria – and did enough in a trial victory earlier this month to suggest to Ting that he can show something on debut.
“I think he will run well,” Ting said. “He’s very consistent, he always runs first four and he’s pretty free. In the trial he gave me a very good result and I think he will run very close.”
Triumphant Horse initially spent time with Me Tsui Yu-sak, but that was purely a stopgap as Ting waited to become a fully fledged trainer.
“This horse is owned by one of my owners [Richard Mak Chi-hung] but because I didn’t have a licence yet I sent him to Me Tsui and then once I got my license I took him back,” Ting explained.
Triumphant Horse, who will be ridden by Keith Yeung Ming-lun and jumps from barrier seven, is among four debutants in the race who are set for a tough initiation against the likes of in-form trio Shimmer And Shine, Midnight Rattler and Hard Promise.
Authentic Champ has also trialled well, winning once and finishing second on another occasion from three outings, and Ting also expects a strong first-up effort from him, but is aware his best will come further down the track.
“His sire is Star Witness so I think he needs a bit longer distance, but in the 1,000m trial he ran well,” Ting said. “It will be difficult for him to win but I think he will run very close, too.”
Matthew Chadwick takes the ride on Authentic Champ from barrier five in what looks an open race, with Nice Fandango the most recent winner with a victory that came in May last year and over half the field with two starts or less to their name.
Ting has two other runners on Sunday, with Elite Boy running in the Class Three Lau Fau Shan Handicap (1,200m) and Home Run tackling the Class Three Tai Tong Handicap (1,400m).