Hong Kong’s newest local trainer is itching to get the winning feeling back after he suffered a rare blank at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
Pierre Ng Pang-chi had tasted success at six straight meetings going into the midweek fixture but the closest he came to another victory was with Astrologer, who finished fourth behind Handsome Bo Bo in the Class Two Cannon Handicap (1,000m).
With six runners at Sha Tin on Sunday, Ng is relying on a mix of youth and experience to regain the winning thread with the talented Captain Win looking to get his head in front for the first time since November 2021.
The talented five-year-old left his previous trainer David Hall frustrated towards the end of last season and his second win is still proving elusive.
Often a fast finisher, Captain Win came from last to grab third on his last start over the extended Valley mile and Ng feels he will be suited by the drop to 1,400m for the Class Two Yuen Long Handicap.
“He was impressive despite the wide draw and he still finished off very well last time,” Ng said.
“Back to 1,400m the pace will be more suitable and with the better draw this time he should finish off well.
“It would be great to get a first win for the owner and I think the horse can be better than this if he can just get that next win.”
While Captain Win knows all about the hustle and bustle of racing in the city, Hurry Hurry Rich in the Class Four Lam Tei Handicap (1,200m) and Taj Dragon in the Class Three Pok Oi Cup (1,000m) will get their first taste of what is expected of them on course as they make their debuts.
Hurry Hurry Rich has shown plenty of ability allied with inconsistency in his trials, winning his penultimate effort before proving a shade disappointing in his most recent, and Ng believes headgear will play an important role.
“The last trial we took his blinkers off but the previous trial he had the blinkers on and he won it by a couple of lengths,” Ng said.
“First up we will give him the blinkers and hopefully he will be staying on at the end.”
Taj Dragon won three times in Britain but may be taking longer to adapt to his new surroundings than his stablemate, with Ng predicting he will learn plenty from the outing.
“He’s getting there,” Ng said. “He just needs more racing experience. He’ll be a very nice horse but now we need to just do some education work and he seems to be progressing nicely.”
Mark The Moment in the Class Three Tai Tong Handicap (1,200m), Decrypt in the Class Three Ping Shan Handicap (1,600m) and Starship Eighty in section one of the Class Four Nam Sang Wai Handicap (1,400m) round out the chances for Ng, who is not content with his impressive return of 21 winners so far this season.
“I definitely have to push myself and keep fighting to the end,” Ng said. “I think things could still be better.”