Jockey Grant van Niekerk has maintained his good form since the start of the year, and, after a double on Sunday, followed up with a brace yesterday evening at Happy Valley (Wednesday, 5 February) to make it 28 wins for the campaign so far.
The South African galvanized the Me Tsui-trained Good For You (129lb) to nick the Class 4 Percival Handicap (1200m) by a short-head in a head-bobbing duel with California Rad (124lb); about 30 minutes later he rolled clear in the Class 4 Wong Nai Chung Handicap (1650m) on the same trainer’s top-weight Thunder Stomp (133lb).
“It’s going well – I just have to stay out of the stewards’ room!” said Van Niekerk, who has a careless riding suspension deferred until the end of this month.
“Thunder Stomp came out so quickly and he’s got such a big action I opted to use it. I got away with a little bit of murder in the beginning because I went quite slow, and, half-way round the turn, when I asked him to extend he responded.”
Winning Ways is perhaps not the most aptly-named horse but the Danny Shum-trained six-year-old was game for Zac Purton as he took the Class 4 Canal Handicap (1000m) – his first Hong Kong win at the 22nd attempt.