Super Fluke (133lb) had attained something of a reputation as a “fluke” winner, having only won one of his first 21 races in Hong Kong since arriving from New Zealand.
However, this season he has finally come into his own. The Dennis Yip-trained galloper continued in his rich vein of form with a third straight win at Happy Valley on Wednesday night, taking the first section of the Class 3 Irving Handicap (1200m) under Brett Prebble.
Brett Prebble celebrates as Super Fluke wins his third consecutive race in the first section of the Class 3 Irving Handicap.
“His first win this season was a really big win, I don’t think it really got the attention it probably should have at the time because it was this horse,” Prebble said. “And he’s just kept going from there, to the point where he’s won strongly at the top of Class 3. He’s a lovely horse now – he’s happy, he doesn’t pull any more, he used to be aggressive but now he travels so well. I really enjoy riding him, he’s great in the mornings and obviously he’s fun on raceday!
“I’m not scared of the next class with him, and I think he’s heading for a 100 rating. I also think the horse that finished second is no duffer, either. I got to him and had him covered, but he really dug deep all the way to the line – even the last four strides, he was trying to come with me.”
The runner-up, by a neck, was Frankie Lor-trained Simply Brilliant, the first son of champion galloper Frankel to race in Hong Kong.
Simply Brilliant (126lb), who raced in the U.K. as Senator, had finished sixth in the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot at his last start, and jockey Nash Rawiller drew comparisons with one of last season’s star four-year-olds after his Hong Kong debut.
“He fought right to the line and it was exactly what you’d want to see on debut, he’s got a great attitude,” Rawiller said. “We’ll get a guide on whether he’s a horse for the four-year-old races when he races over the Sha Tin 1200m on the HKIR undercard. He definitely feels like he will run a strong mile, but it’s a progressional thing – let’s wait and see. At this stage, he’s a bit like what Seasons Bloom was like when he kicked off last season.”