Chris So’s season has been laboured but the handler saddled his fourth winner inside of three weeks when Foodie Princess nailed his second course and distance success on the bounce in the Class 4 Tiu Keng Leng Handicap (1650m) at Sha Tin’s eight-race all-weather track fixture last night, Wednesday, 19 February.
“It was slow in the early part of the season but I think things are picking up,” So said. “Some horses needed time, those young horses, and now some of the older horses are dropping to a more suitable rating.”
Foodie Princess took 10 runs to break his maiden but is doing his part now and swooped powerfully from deep under Joao Moreira to score by three and a half lengths.
“It seems that he’s maturing mentally, he’s calmer at the races now than he was earlier in the season. He used to be really keen in the parade ring and he sweated a lot but he’s getting better,” So said of the Sepoy four-year-old.
“He’s more relaxed in his trackwork, we’ve put him in the last batch, we’re not rushing him and he’s calmer. He’s still young so he just needs time.
“I’ll stick to the dirt with him,” he continued, “there’s no point to go to the grass as long as we have the options for him in this class; I think he’s good at 1800 metres also, so there’s a race in March he could go for.”
Viva Council put in a tough run to win the section two of the Class 4 Po Lam Handicap (1200m) under Dylan Mo. The Peter Ho-trained six-year-old raced without cover outside the leader, three deep on the turn, and fought on under Mo’s drive for a deserved fifth career win.
Hidden Spirit won the Class 5 Yau Tong Handicap (1650m) to maintain Neil Callan’s purple patch for the Paul O’Sullivan stable. The jockey and trainer have teamed for four wins, all from only 13 pairings since 1 January.
Striking Mr C bowled along in front and kept on going under Derek Leung to take the night’s opener, the Class 5 Tseung Kwan O Handicap (1200m). Benno Yung’s charge opened his account off a rating of 29 two starts back and overcame top-weight of 133lb this time to strike for a second time at his 18th start.