Vincent Ho foiled Blake Shinn’s audacious run for glory aboard Playa Del Puente in Sunday’s BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m), with a surging late charge on Golden Sixty.
Shinn described his near-miss on the 289/1 shot as “bittersweet” but he is hoping for nothing but the sweet taste of victory with Green Dispatch at Happy Valley tonight (Wednesday 25 March) in the Class 4 Tin Wan Handicap (1650m).
The Australian gained his first Hong Kong win with a front-running display on Green Dispatch back in September and was then third on the Danny Shum-trained grey at his only subsequent start on 4 March.
“I thought his run a couple of weeks ago was very good, I felt he was a bit luckless not to win,” Shinn said of the eight-year-old. “Our plan was to go forward but he didn’t step the best and couldn’t muster speed so I had to ride him quietly and I just didn’t get the luck at the right time. The winner Tangmere beat me to the run that I would have ideally liked to have got at the top of the straight.
“With a bit more luck tomorrow night he might go close. I think he’s better off rolling in front but that last start gave me the confidence that if it doesn’t work out I can ride him back and he’s still got the ability to win.”
And of his accomplished ride to second in the Derby, he said: “We got so close to winning one of the most prestigious races in the world. Did I think I was going to do that before the race? Not really, but I always go in hoping I’m going to win the race.
“But I’m proud to have run second in the race and I’m very proud of my horse’s effort and hopefully I’ll get my chance one day to get my name up in lights in the race.”