Tsui aiming for double delight on dirt with Winner Supreme

Winner Supreme powers clear to win for trainer Me Tsui. Source: HKJC

Me Tsui will aim Winner Supreme (117lb) at back-to-back wins on the all-weather track in the Class 3 Hin Yiu Handicap (1200m) at Sha Tin on Wednesday.

The trainer is striking at 20 percent over 1200m on the dirt for the 2018/19 season, but the handler insists his success comes down to “luck” and whether the horse is capable of handling the surface.

“I am just lucky, I can train dirt horses,” Tsui said.

His current stable star Fight Hero finished a gutsy sixth in the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen (1200m, dirt) last Sunday, but back home in Hong Kong it is Winner Supreme who is emerging as the handler’s latest all-weather track specialist.

The three-year-old led all-the-way over the course and distance last start to win by five lengths.

“In trackwork he looked happy on the all-weather track, so we decided to race him on the all-weather track, his last 400m on the dirt was great, he looked like he was flying,” he said.

Tsui saddles up six runners on Wednesday night at Sha Tin including Very Sweet Orange in the second section of the Class 4 Mei Tin Handicap (1200m).

“He has a lightweight with the 10lb claim, which should make it easier for him in front,” the handler said.

Alfred Chan has been tasked with lightening Very Sweet Orange’s load: his 10lb claim will see the gelding carry just 108lb.

“He’s a natural frontrunner, plus the 10lb claim, hopefully he can take off and run away with the race,” Chan said.

Chan came close to a win on his Hong Kong debut, with his first two rides at Sha Tin both finishing second after being run down in the shadows of the post.

“If I won both of my first two rides that would have been brilliant, but it will take time, we can’t rush,” Chan said.

The apprentice was satisfied with his debut performance last Sunday and the 24-year old appreciated the support from the grandstand he received from friends and family.

“I went out for dinner with my family after the races, my close friends also came to the racecourse to support me,” he said.

Chan heads to Sha Tin on Wednesday with four chances to break through for his first win in Hong Kong.


Lor’s changing things up

Frankie Lor has joined Me Tsui as a force to be reckoned with on the all-weather track at Sha Tin and the Derby-winning handler hinted that his success on the surface has come due to his ability to “change things up”.

“There is no difference in the training process: if the horse isn’t overly good on the turf and he trialled well on the dirt, then you can race him on the dirt,” he said.

Lor is the leading trainer on the all-weather track at Sha Tin this season with 11 winners from 40 runners and his sweet spot comes over 1200m, where he is currently striking at 37 percent from a total of 19 runners.

Simply Big (107lb) will line up in the Class 3 Hin Yiu Handicap (1200m) for Lor, and exemplifies the handler’s willingness to change.

“We want winners, if the horse is struggling on the turf, just change things up,” Lor said.

Simply Big was unplaced in seven runs on the turf this season, but a trial success over 1200m on the dirt at Sha Tin in February prompted Lor to race him on the surface, resulting in a dominant all-the-way win.

Lor is hoping for another good effort but does not expect that his gelding will be able to have things his own way in the lead.

“Winner Supreme is really fast and he has the inside draw (6) and my horse has an outside draw (8), so we’ll see how they jump,” he said.

Lor is hoping to see a form reversal with Star Luck (125lb) in the first section of the Class 4 Mei Tin Handicap (1200m).

“He can improve, this time he has a good draw (2), it is easier to jump and find cover,” he said.

Star Luck drew widest in gate 12 last start and after travelling three-wide the trip for the most part, he was seen fading back to near last in the straight.

“He had no cover all the way, he was outside and he used a lot of energy, so he didn’t finish off,” Lor said.

The second season handler is second in the premiership and is aiming to bridge an 11-win gap on John Size, saddling up five hopefuls at the all-weather track meeting.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments