Hall, Rawiller bring up milestones
It was a day of milestones as trainer David Hall brought up his 400th Hong Kong win with Little Giant in the Class 2 Hakka Culture Handicap (1200m) and jockey Nash Rawiller made it 100 local winners with a double.
Little Giant (119lb) arrived from New Zealand with wins over multiple G1 winner Humidor and G1-placed Chocante and had impressed at his local debut in May. He made his dirt debut on Saturday under Zac Purton, recording a tough three-quarter length score over hardy Pablosky (124lb).
“We were thinking about running him in a 1200m on the grass a couple of weeks back, but he missed a trial due to bad weather,” Hall said. “I just decided I wasn’t frightened to run him on the dirt, so we waited a little bit longer. The horse had yielding track form in New Zealand, he’d worked and trialled well on the dirt, there was never a question in my mind about whether he’d handle it.
“It was a very tough performance today, he almost got cleaned up on the bend and again in the straight. He had to be pretty brave and I noticed the margin to the third horse was sizeable, so I was impressed.”
It was one of two wins for Purton, who continued his strong record in dirt races this season aboard Hong Kong debutant Spotlight Dream in the Class 3 Mei Zhou City Handicap (1200m) for trainer Danny Shum.
Rawiller notched his century aboard Millard’s Strathclyde in the Class 4 Zhongshan Hakka Handicap (1200m) before completing his brace on Ace King for Peter Ho in the Class 3 World Hakka Capital Handicap (1000m).
“I’m happy because at one stage, it didn’t look like I would ride 100 winners here,” Rawiller said. “I’ve stuck at it though and I’m starting to get a few rewards for the time I’ve put in, and I’m starting to feel like I’m building some momentum again.”
It was a big day for Australian jockeys, with nine of the 10 races going to riders originally based down under. In addition to Schofield, Purton and Rawiller, Brett Prebble also scored a double aboard King Winsa and Regency Bo Bo, with Keith Yeung the sole non-Australian rider to salute on Unique Joyful.
Racing returns to Happy Valley on Wednesday night for an eight-race card, beginning at 7.15pm, as Oktoberfest celebrations continue at the city track.
Little Giant races clear under Zac Purton to give David Hall his 400th Hong Kong winner as a trainer, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club
David Hall celebrates after making it 400 Hong Kong wins with Little Giant, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club