Danny Shum continues excellent run with Happy Valley double

Helene Warrior gives Danny Shum a brace.

Riding a euphoric wave after Romantic Warrior’s stunning Group 1 Yasuda Kinen (1600m) triumph in Tokyo on Sunday (2 June), Danny Shum was again to the fore at Happy Valley on Wednesday night (5 June) with a double.

Shum struck with Hong Kong first-starter Packing Power and Helene Warrior to boost his domestic tally for the 2023/24 season to 47 wins – a tally capped by Romantic Warrior’s victories in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m), Group 1 Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) and the Group 1 FWD QEII Cup (2000m).

The star middle-distance galloper has safely returned to Hong Kong following his Yasuda Kinen triumph – his second overseas victory this season following success in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October.

Shum struck tonight with a pair of three-year-olds as the master horseman paraded fresh talent while extending his lead in the Happy Valley standings, where he now has 30 wins for the season, one more than Caspar Fownes (29).

By Toronado, Australian-bred Packing Power claimed the first section of the Class 4 Mount Nicholson Handicap (1200m) under Zac Purton to provide the six-time champion jockey with his 110th win of the campaign.

“He (Packing Power) is still very green and he can improve a bit more. He’s not a superstar, but he’s got some talent,” Shum said.

“Hopefully he will improve next season. He might have a break now, but I’ll just talk to the owners.”

Helene Warrior earned a PP Bonus of HK$1.5 million after landing the Class 3 Shouson Hill Handicap (1650m) under a brilliant ride from Lyle Hewitson, who box-seated in third place on the rails behind leader Frantanck before sprinting strongly in the straight.

“He loved the soft ground and a strong pace was good for him because he could hit the line strong,” Shum said.

Purton completed a double when David Hall-trained Northern Beast clinched the Class 4 Wong Nai Chung Gap Handicap (1650m).

By Maurice, Northern Beast was the second leg of a brace for Hall, who struck earlier with Sharpen Bright.

Hall, who now has 38 wins for the season, attributed Sharpen Bright’s easy victory in the Class 4 Tai Tam Gap Handicap (2200m) to Karis Teetan’s clinical ride as the Redwood gelding posted his second course and distance victory of the season.

“From the barrier (gate two), Karis executed very well,” Hall said.

“From where he was, and with his staying ability, he was going to be hard to beat.”

Fownes and Hugh Bowman combined with Daring Pursuit to claim the Class 4 Cricket Club Valley Stakes Handicap (1650m) before Happy Fat Cat slotted his fourth win of the season for Cody Mo with success in the second section of the Class 3 Violet Hill Handicap (1200m).

Ridden patiently by Ellis Wong, the Shalaa gelding swept down the middle of the track to deny Kyrus Dragon by a head.

A first-season trainer, Mo finished the evening with the first double of his career when Matthew Chadwick piloted California Touch to victory in the first section of the Class 3 Violet Hill Handicap (1200m). California Touch earned a PP bonus of HK$1.5 million for the win.

Ben Thompson notched his sixth win of the season with a well-judged ride on Jamie Richards-trained Ernest Feeling in the second section of the Class 4 Mount Nicholson Handicap (1200m).

“It’s fantastic, he’s a very fit horse and a winner at the Valley before, we needed a bit of luck from barrier nine, but it panned out nicely – they went very quick,” Thompson said.

“We had a pretty cosy run but the big thing was handling the conditions – wet track and he had no issues on it. Jamie Richards has been a great supporter of mine since I landed here and it’s nice to reward him and get another winner.”

Dennis Yip-trained Good View Glory broke through at his 13th attempt to snare the Class 5 Stanley Gap Handicap (1000m) under Andrea Atzeni.

Hong Kong racing continues at Sha Tin on Saturday (8 June) from 4pm HKT.

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