Lucky More was value for a good deal more than the four and a quarter-length winning margin in the Class 4 Chevalier Construction Handicap (1000m), at Sha Tin yesterday afternoon (Saturday, 23 November), his second career start. Zac Purton barely twitched on the three-year-old for a sauntering win in 56.01s.
That made up for a narrow debut defeat by Duke Wai three weeks ago when the Australian colt was turned over at odds of 1.5 – he returned the 1.8 favourite for today’s score.
“Last time he didn’t know what was happening, he was too aggressive but he learned a lot from that race. He’s a good horse,” trainer Danny Shum said.
Lucky More was Shum’s 601st career win in Hong Kong. His 600th arrived two races earlier when the debutant Fantasy boxed on gamely for Blake Shinn to take the Class 4 Chevalier Aluminium Engineering Handicap (1200m) by a diminishing short-head.
Shinn is starting to find his Hong Kong groove after almost three months on the circuit. The Australian ace dead-heated the last at Happy Valley on Wednesday night and kept his momentum rolling in bagging the afternoon’s opener, taking his season’s tally to five.
Alexis Badel shared the Valley finale with Shinn and the Frenchman wasted little time getting the third win of his winter stint on the board, driving Adonis to success in race two, the Class 5 Chevalier Car Dealership Handicap (1400m). That was the jockey’s second ride for first-season trainer Douglas Whyte who took his stable’s tally to a healthy nine.
Ricky Yiu’s blistering start to the season continued with a second treble in as many meetings. The premiership leader’s Villa Fionn shifted wide on the track and rattled home from deep to win the Class 4 Chevalier E & M Engineering Handicap (1600m) under Matthew Chadwick.
Simple Elegant followed-up for Yiu in the Class 4 Chevalier Healthcare Investment Handicap (1400m), taking the handler’s running total to 19. Grant van Niekerk guided the gelding home to notch his 14th win of the campaign.
Treble-scoring Vincent Ho drove home Yiu’s Preciousship in the Class 3 Chevalier Property Development & Operations Handicap (1600m).
Ho and Francis Lui make a fairly formidable team nowadays. The jockey and trainer combined for their eighth win together this season when the talented Golden Sixty took his haul to six wins from seventh starts with another impressive success.
The probable Four-Year-Old Classic Series contender was a length and a quarter too good for his 13 rivals despite shouldering top-weight in the Class 2 Chevalier Property Investment Handicap (1400m).
“He carried 133lb so it wasn’t as easy as before, he felt it today, but he ran a good time and he was relaxed enough, he didn’t use much early and I’m happy the way he raced,” Ho said.
“He definitely feels like a Classic Mile horse and we’re aiming that way.”
Lui is considering running his gelding next in a Class 2 over the course and distance on 15 December.
“He has an option over 1400m here next month and that’s the only option at the distance on the grass, then we’d look to the Classic Mile,” he said.
Ho and Lui bagged an earlier victory when Elite Patch drew clear for an easy four-length win in the Class 3 Chevalier Environmental Engineering Handicap (1200m) on the dirt.
Aquila was another smart winner on the dirt. Jimmy Ting’s charge took the Class 3 Chevalier Lifts & Escalators Handicap (1200m) by two and a quarter lengths under Chad Schofield.