John Moore was out of luck with another of his rising stars at Sha Tin yesterday afternoon, Monday, 1 July, when the Danny Shum-trained Green Energy (118lb) returned from an eight-month injury absence to win the day’s feature, the Class 2 Hong Kong Reunification Cup Handicap (1200m).
Moore’s Thanks Forever (129lb) and the Frankie Lor-trained Big Party (124lb) were expected to dominate and were sent off at odds of 3.3 and 1.7 respectively. The hype horses failed to live up to expectations though as the 41/1 outsider stalked the lead, shifted out at the top of the straight and forged on to a neck win under Dylan Mo.
“Green Energy had a left-fore tendon issue, which he had since he transferred from Peter Ho last season,” Shum revealed. “He had two really hard races early in the season and he got an injury, which was really bad. We took him to Conghua and there was a moment when I said to the owner, I ‘want to retire him’ – I didn’t want him to struggle but they were very generous and said ‘take your time, we have a lot of time, just do your job’.
“It wasn’t a strong field for a Class 2 1200-metre race and he’s got ability. He had a good draw (1) and he can kick, so I told the owners he had a good chance, even when at that time he was 49/1 – he shouldn’t have been that price.
“The horse is not 100 per cent fit – I’ll run him again in the Class 2 on the last day,” he added.
The six-year-old gave Mo his biggest career success and his 24th this term.
“He took a long break and was coming back fresh so I rode him relaxed and calm and he came home strong. I just try my best and keep working hard – my boss has given me a lot of chances,” Mo said.
Thanks Forever was under pressure a long way from home and plugged on in sixth, while Lor’s grey faded to seventh in the 14-strong field.
“Thanks Forever, just forget the run,” Moore said. “He didn’t seem confident in running: he was wandering and didn’t hit the line. He pulled up sound and he’ll run 1400 metres on the last day of the season.”
Aldo Domeyer bagged an early double. The South African was craning his neck looking for non-existent dangers as the Francis Lui-trained Victoriam eased to a two and a quarter-length success in the opener, the Class 4 Racing Goes On Handicap (1200m).
Domeyer followed up in the Class 4 Serving The Community Handicap (1650m, dirt) and it was another easy win: the Tony Cruz-trained Beauty Loyal defied top-weight to score by two and a half lengths.
Paul O’Sullivan has his stable in fine late-season form. The handler saddled the first two home in the Class 5 World-Class Leadership Handicap (1650m, dirt) as the Karis Teetan-ridden Hidden Spirit charged home from deep to finish three lengths ahead of stablemate Mi Blanco.
Hong Kong pop star and actor Aaron Kwok was denied a win when his three-year-old Dancing Fighter failed to make it two from two in the Class 4 Uncompromising Integrity Handicap (1000m). Zac Purton’s mount had no answer to the determined run of the Benno Yung-trained Super Junior, who battled to a three quarter-length victory under Derek Leung.
Deal Maker had his first start for Jimmy Ting in the Class 4 Continuous Development Handicap (1650m, dirt) and hit the mark under Chad Schofield with a two and three quarter-length win.