First-season trainer Jimmy Ting Koon-ho will roll the dice on a first-up Happy Valley assault for his New Zealand import Telecom Puma on Wednesday night.
Ting has had extraordinary success racing tried Hong Kong horses in the early part of his training career but is looking to now prove himself with fresh imports as he tries to expand his operation.
An amazing 24 of his 26 wins have come in Class Four and Five while he has only managed to collect two wins in Class Three.
With a rating of 80, Telecom Puma is Ting’s second highest-rated horse and will find himself in Class Two if he performs strongly in the Class Three Hoi Yuen Handicap (1,200m).
“I think he will run close but it is always difficult to win first go, especially when he has never trialled at Happy Valley – it is the first time we go there with him so I don’t know if he can run there or not,” he said.
The four-year-old has performed well in his two barrier trials at Sha Tin after winning three starts in New Zealand before being sold to Hong Kong.
Included in those wins was a Group Two Hawke’s Bay Guineas along with a strong performance in the Karaka Millions 3YO Classic.
“He is a nice horse, but he probably needs a bit more time because to me it looks like he is just getting going here, he is just learning the racing,” Ting said.
“Even with that, I think he will still run very close. He has worked very well, I think he is a nice horse.”
Ting’s early season success has seen a flurry of owners bring horses to the rookie trainer and as a result he boasts a stable that is bursting at the seams.
The influx has seen the former jockey set a new goal for the remainder of the season, and he is hoping Telecom Puma can help him get there.
“Every horse is important for me, at this stage I am still yet to win with a ‘C’ horse [one who has arrived this season], so it’s something that I want to do,” he said.
“I am very happy [with how things are going], I still think it’s amazing. I did not think I could have so many winners through the early part of the season.”
Ting’s impressive work has him set to add another string to his bow, with the Jockey Club reportedly on the verge of awarding him a Conghua stable in mainland China which will increase his capacity from 60 to 70 horses.
Ting also saddles up Dragon Warrior, Letsgofree, Big Bang Bong and Lady First on Wednesday night.