Derek Leung has hit the ground running this season with an opening day success aboard Gold Chest for Richard Gibson and the dual Tony Cruz Award winner is looking to keep on rolling when he partners Enjoy Life (127lb) in the Class 4 Shek O Handicap (1650m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday (11 September).
A three-time victor from 33 outings all told, the Falkirk gelding returns first-up following an eye-catching dash over 1200m in a trial on the Conghua turf.
“I felt good on him at Conghua, he trialled very good – we had the outside draw so I went back and he finished very well – you can see his form is coming back quite quickly,” Leung said.
The Group 1-winning rider was in the plate for Enjoy Life’s one success last season and he’s looking forward to re-connecting with Me Tsui’s charge.
“He’s a very easy ride; you just need clear room as he doesn’t like to go between other horses,” he said.
“Unluckily, we have the outside draw. We would love to see him midfield or a bit further back because with the outside draw we aren’t left with many options – it depends on the race,” he said.
Among his book of six rides, Leung will also ride Litteratuer in Wednesday’s Class 2 Big Wave Bay Handicap (1650m), a five-time course and distance victor.
“Last time it rained and the track was heavy but he’s pulled up fine and he always runs very well at Happy Valley,” the rider said.
Leung will also take the mount aboard the Gibson-trained All You Know (118lb) in the Deep Water Bay Handicap in which he will face Chefano (131lb). The John Moore-trained galloper returns as a gelding for the new season.
“It’s made a great difference, especially character wise. He is much more tractable in his work and Zac (Purton) got off and said he was a different horse,” Moore said.