By News Team
26th May 2020
It was another fascinating weekend in the Hong Kong jockeys’ title race with bitter rivals Zac Purton and Joao Moreira once again dominating proceedings at Sha Tin with four winners apiece. Both now sit on 123 winners each, although it could all change on Wednesday with Moreira missing the all-weather meeting at Sha Tin due to a riding suspension.
Purton has a full book of nine rides, and he’ll be hoping he can do enough to edge into an outright lead.
Millard’s contender can Thunder home
All nine races on Wednesday’s card at Sha Tin take place on the all-weather and given there is less racing on the dirt surface over the season, there is less form to go by. However, one horse that seems to have thrived on it is LITTLE THUNDER who can go back-to-back in the Shearwater Handicap (11:45am).
Having proved unsuccessful in seven starts on turf, Tony Millard’s representative put in a very respectable effort on his debut on the dirt when fifth over course, and distance at the beginning of April. Drawn widest of all, his jockey Victor Wong was forced to use up plenty of energy to get the four-year-old to the front and he eventually ran out of puff to finish fifth. It was a more than satisfactory dirt debut, though, and he made a mockery on a two-pound lower mark the next time when comfortably scoring earlier this month.
He showed a really nice attitude that day and looks sure to go well again from stall seven. He has been raised six pounds for that win, but is still towards the foot of the weights and he should have plenty more to offer here.
Chau’s claim makes Ka Ying a Legendary bet
It’s never easy to shoulder top weight in these very tricky handicaps, but KA YING LEGEND might just be able to do that in the six-furlong Flamingo Handicap (2:15pm). The five-year-old opened his account in Hong Kong at the 15th attempt of asking two starts ago when bolting up by over three lengths, but wasn’t able to overcome a subsequent 11 pound hike in the weights when finishing midfield last time.
He didn’t have a great journey there and given the form of some of the horses who beat him there he faced a pretty sizeable task giving weight away to the likes of Relentless Me and War Of Courage. The handicapper has left his mark unchanged which perhaps shows it was a better run that it looked and the fact that he’s got HK new boy Jerry Chau in the saddle means he must have a very solid chance here.
Chau’s ten-pound claim is hugely valuable in these highly competitive handicaps and with that it means Ka Ying Legend races off just one pound higher than that emphatic victory two starts back. The switch to dirt is an unknown and you’re taking the fact he takes to the surface on trust, though he didn’t look too unconvinced by it in a recent trial. If he handles it, he must go close.