David Ferraris went out a winner at Happy Valley on Wednesday night but the South African wasn’t on track to enjoy the spoils, with jockey Joao Moreira left to do the celebrating after Here Comes Ted’s victory.
Here Comes Ted posted a comfortable win as the $2.45 favourite in the Class Three Java Handicap (1,200m), handing Ferraris – who called an abrupt end to his Hong Kong career on Sunday – a 461st and final win after more than 18 seasons training in the city.
“I’m very proud of riding his last winner in Hong Kong. I know that means a lot to David, who has been great for the sport,” said Moreira after saluting as Here Comes Ted crossed the line and then whistling and shouting to the crowd.
“It’s a shame that we see him going but wherever he goes, we’re going to remember him for what he’s done good here, which is plenty.
“This horse has been a tricky horse, he can miss the start but he probably won the race tonight at the start because he bounced out very well and took up a good position and we had a smooth run on the fence.”
Moreira’s victory aboard Here Comes Ted was his fourth of the evening as he continued a purple patch that has seen him ring up nine winners in the past three meetings and cut the injured Zac Purton’s lead in the jockeys’ premiership to just one.
“I’m grateful, I’m trying my best and pushing hard. I rode very light today and it’s paying off because we’re winning. Hopefully I can keep the ball rolling,” said the Magic Man, who now has 48 victories for the term.
Moreira’s other wins came aboard the Benno Yung Tin-pang trained Happy Jai Jai, Tony Millard’s Above and the John Size-trained Dr Winning.
The success of Dr Winning formed the second part of a double for Size, who also got the chocolates with Wild West Wing to briefly draw level with Frankie Lor Fu-chuen in the race for the trainers’ title.
Lor was quick to hit back with a double of his own on the back half of the programme, however, tasting success with Lucky Archangel and We The South to move to 29 victories and restore his lead to two.
Another trainer to have a good night was Millard, with the South African ringing up his first double of the season to move to 11 wins.
“The horses are coming into form and for once we’ve got some better draws than we have been having – we’ve been having some diabolic draws so it’s been very tough to try and overcome the draws. Hong Kong is very tight, the handicap is very tight,” Millard said.
The 60-year-old got the ball rolling with Meridian Genius in the Class Four Tong Shui Handicap (1,200m) and made it two in as many races with Above proving too strong in the Class Three Marble Handicap (2,200m).
“Joao rode a beautiful race, he got into a beautiful position. He’s just a hard-knocking type of horse and in this type of company hopefully with a little bit of luck he might pick up another one. He’s been pretty consistent and he’s a good money spinner,” Millard said.
David wasn’t the only Ferraris to grab a winner at the midweek meeting, with the trainer’s son Luke the man in the saddle for Meridian Genius’ win. The victory took the 19-year-old to six wins after 30 meetings of his maiden Hong Kong campaign.