Piccone’s perfect start

Tony Piccone
Tony Piccone strikes in the finale

Tony Piccone has only been in Hong Kong three days but he hit the ground running with a win and two third-place returns from four rides at Sha Tin yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, 1 January).

“It’s very important for me, my first day in Hong Kong, to ride a winner. I’m very happy and I hope to continue,” the Frenchman said.

His victory came in the afternoon’s finale, the Class 3 Flame Tree Handicap (1600m), aboard the Danny Shum-trained Charity Go.

“My trainer told me to wait and finish, if possible, outside. My horse was very easy in the middle and when I went between horses, he was very happy and was very easy at the finish,” Piccone said.

The Group 1-winning jockey had said beforehand that he would ride with confidence and he was true to his word from the outset.

“I’d never ridden here, I don’t know the jockeys and the horses, but I was confident,” he said. “The trainers have been very sympathetic to me, so today it was easy for me. I had good rides and it’s easy with a good horse.

“Before today, I like (Hong Kong), today I love!”