Jockey Chad Schofield took riding honours with a Class 4 double, steering second starter Refined Treasure to victory in the Bonham Handicap (1000m) and the Derek Cruz-trained Elusive State to win the Shatin Pass Handicap (1650m). He had particular praise for Tony Millard’s Refined Treasure, who showed early speed to lead and then held his rivals at bay to record a two-length success.
“I trialled him before his debut run and obviously everyone saw that trial, where he performed nicely against some established types like House Of Fun and Premiere,” Schofield said. “Unfortunately, on debut, nothing went right for him but I was happy to be on him today. After he jumped so well and he showed his speed, cruising along out in front, he was never going to lose. He did have a horse pestering him but to my guy’s credit, he did everything professionally, it didn’t faze him and he ran right through the line.”
Trainer Paul O’Sullivan expressed a sense of relief after Planet Star (122lb) held off the late bid of favourite Lucky Time (132lb) to win the Class 4 Tung Wah Group Of Hospitals Challenge Cup Handicap (1400m). It was the Denman four-year-old’s first run at the distance, having primarily raced over sprint trips before struggling with the 1650m at Happy Valley at his most recent start, and his maiden victory.
“I know he’s taken 12 runs to win a race, but he’s been unlucky a few times, he does a lot wrong and he’s still a work in progress. I think he’s still got something in front of him,” O’Sullivan said. “His biggest problem was, he wouldn’t change legs. He’d stick on that inside leg, you couldn’t get him to switch no matter what, and he’d just get tired. That’s why I do think, once he does get his act together, there is improvement in him.
“That was a cunning plan from ‘KC’,” continued O’Sullivan, referring to winning rider Derek Leung. “I wasn’t sure whether he should go forward or back, but Derek came in and said, ‘I’m going to go forward’ and it proved the right decision.”