The first season of Untold Riches’ career was eventful for all the wrong reasons but Jimmy Ting Koon-ho hopes the five-year-old can get his second campaign off on the right foot in Monday’s Class Four Badminton Handicap (1,200m) at Sha Tin.
The son of Swiss Ace began his career with Michael Chang Chun-wai and had three starts for the veteran handler before switching to Ting.
After a promising debut third on the turf as a $3.30 favourite in September last year, Untold Riches pulled up lame and required an arthroscopy of his right front knee to deal with a displaced radial bone fragment.
The gelding finally made it back to the races in February this year but disappointed on the all-weather track as a raging $1.50 favourite, returning with substantial blood in his trachea and suffering a left humerus injury and shin soreness.
Untold Riches’ third run came in July and was a disaster, with Zac Purton easing the galloper out of the race after a few strides with concerns for his action.
Untold Riches appeared sore in pre-race footage and was found to be lame in both hind legs, as well as bleeding, resulting in another lengthy gap between runs.
Ting has given Untold Riches two trials ahead of his return, the most recent of which he won impressively over 1,200m on the all-weather track, and hopes he can finally reach his potential.
“I hope I can help the owner to win because this horse has got many problems,” the trainer said.
“I think the horse has improved since coming into my stable, he’s much calmer and he gets his chance. Even on the turf I think he is a good chance.
“Before the horse was a bit keen so he just goes in front in the trial but now he can sit a little bit and then he can sprint.”
Untold Riches jumps from barrier six under Keith Yeung Ming-lun – who was aboard for the galloper’s debut run – and faces the likes of Frankie Lor Fu-chuen’s second-starter En Pointe, Douglas Whyte’s Pretty Queen Prawn and E Brother from the Manfred Man Ka-leung stable.
Untold Riches is one of eight runners for Ting on Monday afternoon as he looks to add to his 16 winners for the season. After a blistering start to proceedings, Ting has gone 38 runners without a winner – the longest run of outs of any trainer.
Among his hand are the in-form Flying Sword and a galloper struggling for form in Super Football, with Ting hoping the latter can turn a corner as he tackles 2,000m for the first time in the Class Two Hong Kong Sports Institute 30th Anniversary Cup.
“Earlier this season the horse’s form was no good but after I gave him a break in Conghua the horse came back a bit better, but he is still not great,” Ting said. “The 1,600m is too short for him so we will try the 2,000m to see if he can run any better.”