Chris So Wai-yin is leaning towards targeting November 5’s Group Three Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse (1,800m) with stable star Super Sunny Sing after the five-year-old’s Class Two Beijing Handicap (1,600m) victory at Sha Tin on Sunday.
While the Group Two Sha Tin Trophy (1,600m) on October 15 is also on So’s mind, a return to the distance of Super Sunny Sing’s Classic Cup (1,800m) victory is the most likely way forward.
“I don’t think I’ll rush him in the middle of October. Maybe we aim for the 1,800m, the Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse, so he can have a break and come back,” said So, brushing aside any concerns of a five-week gap between runs.
“This horse is easy. Maybe we give him a soft trial or whatever. I need to speak to the owner first.
“Maybe after this run, he’ll be [rated] 99 or 100, I don’t know. We’ll aim for the Group race, and let’s see.”
Popular in betting after his nice first-up third over 1,400m on the opening day of the season, Super Sunny Sing ensured an easy enough watch for those who sent him off at $1.80 despite travelling three wide and well back in the field.
Popped to the outside by jockey Vincent Ho Chak-yiu cornering for home, Super Sunny Sing extended nicely to take the lead about 250m out and finish half a length clear of Spirited Express.
“It’s good. He ran well. He carried 132 pounds [and was] three wide with cover. I saw in the last [200m], he was just a little bit tired, but still good. Vincent did a good job. He knows the horse well, but lucky we got cover.”
Super Sunny Sing, who finished eighth as the second favourite in March’s Hong Kong Derby (2,000m), improved his record to six wins from 12 starts, with four of those victories coming under Ho.
After missing the start of the season as the result of injuries he sustained in an off-season fall in Japan, Ho is really starting to roll now.
He bagged a treble on Sunday to move to six wins for the campaign and into third in the jockeys’ premiership.
After hitting the board with Francis Lui Kin-wai’s Moduleconstruction in the second section of the Class Three Shanghai Handicap (1,200m), Ho completed his three-timer with the Caspar Fownes-trained Karma.
After resuming with a 10th over 1,000m three weeks ago, Karma was immediately effective upon returning to what appears to be his best distance in the Class Four Jinan Handicap (1,400m).
After settling Karma behind midfield, Ho picked through traffic in the home straight and allowed his mount to steam to a one-length victory.
Owned by well-known tailor “Sam” Manu Melwani and his son Roshan, Karma has now won two of his five starts and will graduate into Class Three.
J-Mac gushes over Warrior
James McDonald couldn’t have been much more positive about Romantic Warrior after galloping Danny Shum Chap-shing’s three-time Group One winner at Flemington on Sunday morning.
McDonald, who won last season’s Group One Hong Kong Cup (2,000m) and Group One QE II Cup (2,000m) aboard Romantic Warrior, will ride the five-year-old in Saturday’s Group One Turnbull Stakes (2,000m) before a planned tilt at the Group One Cox Plate (2,040m) at Moonee Valley on October 28.
“He’s had a good look around,” McDonald told Australia’s racing.com. “He worked beautifully. I felt he got on his correct leads lovely, he was lovely and balanced, and he’ll improve immensely from today’s gallop, I would have thought.
“It was really good to get back on his back. I think he’s an absolute damn good horse, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do here.
"Good horses do good things & he's definitely one of them."— Racing.com (@Racing) October 1, 2023
Hear from James McDonald following Romantic Warrior's track gallop at Flemington 🗣 pic.twitter.com/4vWgG1aedP
“He’s going to improve again. This was, obviously, an exercise gallop that’ll bring him on. He’s got a lead-up run before the big one, and that’s a month away.
“I don’t think he’s near his peak. He’ll improve out of the race. But in saying that, he’ll be hard to beat.”
Despite missing a trial before heading to Melbourne because of Super Typhoon Saola and initially struggling after switching to Australian feed, Romantic Warrior looks well and truly back on track.
“If James is happy, I’m happy,” smiled Shum at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Shum travels to Australia on Monday to oversee his superstar’s final preparations ahead of the trainer’s first runner Down Under and his first overseas tilt since he took Lucky Year and Circuit Land to Korea in 2017.
Among Romantic Warrior’s expected opponents on Saturday are a fellow raider – British galloper West Wind Blows – reigning Melbourne Cup champ Gold Trip and last year’s Turnbull Stakes winner Smokin’ Romans.