From Nakayama to the Valley, Yiu returns with a bang
Ricky Yiu – fresh from his Japan expedition with Blizzard – saddled up Manful Star to win the second section of the Class 4 Quarry Bay Handicap (1200m) and Keep Moving to take the Class 3 Causeway Bay Handicap (1000m) at Happy Valley on Thursday night.
Keep Moving (121lb) returned for his first four-year-old start and overcame a check on the home turn to score by a short-head under Neil Callan over late-charging E-Super (129lb).
“He’s improving all the time and he’s developed into a nice four-year-old,” Yiu said. “Look at Neil there, he’s so strong and he really got the most out of that horse.”
Manful Star went to post a muck lather, having got worked up in the parade ring, but he defied his pre-race nerves to earn his first Hong Kong victory with Umberto Rispoli in the plate.
“He’s still just lacking experience. It is not usual that you see a six-year-old having only his seventh start like him – it’s been a long road,” Yiu said. “He had a knee injury at the start of last season and that took a long time for him to recover. However, he is well at the moment, he stretched out beautifully there and he’s definitely got the talent to get up to Class 3 if he can stay sound.”
Joao Moreira returned to form after three winless Happy Valley meetings, taking the first two races – the Class 5 Shau Kei Wan Handicap (1650m) on Michael Chang-trained Dutch Windmill and the first section of the Class 4 Quarry Bay Handicap (1200m) on Chris So’s Exceptional Desire.
Derek Leung also followed up on his treble at Sha Tin last Sunday (1 October) with a 79/1 victory aboard David Ferraris’ Pikachu in the Class 2 Tai Hang Handicap (1800m), while Brett Prebble and Paul O’Sullivan combined with Star Majestic in the Class 3 North Point Handicap (1650m).
Racing returns to Sha Tin on Sunday (8 October), with the first scheduled for 1pm.
Jockey Neil Callan drives Keep Moving to victory in the Class 3 Causeway Bay Handicap, one of two winners for trainer Ricky Yiu, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club