Douglas Whyte saddled his third winner from 11 runners, and his second in tandem with Alberto Sanna, when Last Kingdom broke his Hong Kong duck at start 21 at Happy Valley last night, Wednesday, 11 September. The Frankel gelding barreled to the lead from the gate, threw his head around once there, but eventually settled into a rhythm that took him to a length and a quarter win in the Class 3 Deep Water Bay Handicap (1650m).
“He’s been really keen but he’s learned to switch off nicely in the mornings,” Whyte said of his charge, who was previously with trainers Tony Millard and Paul O’Sullivan.
“He’s not the best beginner,” the former champion jockey continued, “he’s a grinder and with no real leader tonight I thought he could dictate things, and if he did that, with fitness on his side, he could benefit from it. I was surprised that having got a bit keen he still quickened away and dropped them turning for home. He did a pretty good job to stay on because he must have run some good sectionals the last 300 (metres).”
Jockey Chad Schofield and trainer Richard Gibson have enjoyed some big days together, including Rattan’s Group 2 Sprint Cup victory on 7 April: that win, in fact, was the last time the duo teamed up successfully, until last night, when Prawn Yeah Yeah broke the partnership’s run of outs in the Class 5 South Bay Handicap (1000m).
Trainer Ricky Yiu got off the mark for the term when 10lb apprentice Alfred Chan made all atop Megatron in the Class 5 Stanley Handicap (1650m). Jack Wong successfully made the running too, taking the Class 4 Repulse Bay Handicap (1200m) on the Me Tsui-trained Very Sweet Orange.
Keith Yeung timed it right in the Class 4 Middle Bay Handicap (1000m). The rider delivered the Jimmy Ting-trained Hardly Swears (123lb) in the final strides to land the spoils at 64/1, denying the even-money favourite Best Smile (132lb) by a neck.