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Joao Moreira weaves a passage through aboard Righteous Doctrine to secure a running treble – @HKJC_Racing
While the Brazilian superstar has more winners than any other jockey in Hong Kong racing this season, he is by no means the most profitable as we tick past the halfway mark.
The same can’t be said for Ricky Yiu Poon-fai in the training ranks, however, with the veteran leading the premiership but also delivering as the punters’ pal.
He is enjoying a golden season this term and has motored his way to 39 winners, three ahead of rival Francis Lui Kin-wai and 11 clear of the third-placed Tony Cruz.
Yiu leads a charge of just five trainers who have been profitable for punters betting a HK$10 flat stake on each runner.
A straight HK$10 win bet on each of Yiu’s 220 runners this season has returned a staggering $2,013.50 profit thanks to long-shot winners Lone Eagle ($36), Encore Boy ($21), King’s Man ($37), Kanbeki Molly ($29), Indigenous Star ($28) and Speedy King ($51). He also has had a flurry of other double-figure odds winners.
While Yiu is enjoying life in the penthouse this season, it was not always the way. He managed just 29 winners for the whole of last season, slumping to 15th in the standings.
Next in terms of profitability is South African trainer Tony Millard whose figures have been boosted by old-timer Rickfield, who has saluted at $176 and $20 this season.
While Millard has 15 winners for the season compared to Yiu’s 39, punters would still find themselves with a profit of $1,015 after a HK$10 win bet on each of his 176 runners.
Other profitable trainers include Francis Lui Kin-wai ($283), Jimmy Ting Koon-ho ($44.50), and David Hall ($669.50).
While the two premiership leaders in the trainers’ standings have returned positive results for punters, it is a different story when it comes to jockeys.
Moreira, Zac Purton, Karis Teetan and Vincent Ho Chak-yiu have combined for a loss of HK$2,949.
The task of breaking even has become near impossible for the likes of Moreira and Purton, who have ridden just 114 horses between them in double-figure odds from their combined 739 rides this season.
Jockey Matthew Poon Ming-fai is the clear standout at the halfway point, when it comes to profitability.
The 25-year-old has returned a profit of HK$2,418 so far thanks to the likes of Rickfield and Ping Hai Galaxy, who won last week at $160.
Nine of Poon’s 15 winners this season have come at odds of $13 or higher.
Other profitable jockeys this term include Grant van Niekerk ($45), Matthew Chadwick ($101), Chad Schofield ($37) and Frenchman Tony Piccone ($209.50).
The results show that while Moreira and Purton attract the lion’s share of market support, it pays dividends to find runners outside the box.
Next stop … the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen? Big Time Baby makes a claim for a potential trip overseas with a classy victory in the finale – @HKJC_Racing
Hong Kong racing is crying out for a big name to fly the Bauhinia flag abroad and the picture for next month’s Dubai World Cup meeting has become a little clearer this week.
One certainty is that Tony Cruz’s superstar Exultant will not be going, with owner Eddie Wong Ming-chak keen to keep his charge on home soil after a previous bad experience when taking a horse overseas.
Beauty Generation is the one everyone wants to see travel and he is still a chance to line up in the Group One Dubai Turf (1,800m) – connections meet on Friday to make a plan for the dual Horse of the Year.
John Moore is adamant he is pushing ahead with plans to take sprinters Aethero and Thanks Forever over for the Group One Al Quoz Sprint (1,200m).
Thanks Forever is sweating on an invite and Aethero remains somewhat of a mystery after suffering a fever after December’s Hong Kong Sprint, with the three-year-old poised to resume at Class One level at Sha Tin on March 8.
Tony Millard’s dirt specialist Elusive State is also waiting on an invite, but at this stage Hong Kong’s best hope of being represented at Meydan in just over a month lies with Manfred Man Ka-leung’s Big Time Baby.
The six-year-old won impressively at Sha Tin on Wednesday night to bump his rating to 110, a mark which should see him offered a place in the Group One Dubai Golden Shaheen (1,200m, dirt) seeing Fight Hero gained an invite last year racing off 102.
Man is desperate to take his in-form galloper and connections are on board as well, which is not a given in a landscape where many owners will do their best to find a reason not to travel, meaning Hong Kong should have at least one representative at the prestigious meeting.