Pingwu’s still sparking

Another grey on an upward trajectory, Pingwu Spark (125lb) apart from Fifty Fifty in the feature Chevalier Cup, ignited the crowd with success in race eight at Sha Tin on Sunday, the Class 2 Chevalier Property Development & Operations Handicap (1400m). The ever-present Derek Leung was in the plate.

The hulking Mastercraftsman five-year-old, one place ahead of Fifty Fifty when second at the course and distance on 5 November, drove home powerfully and held the challenge of the Cruz-trained debutant Doctor Geoff (120lb) by half a length. The winning time was 1m 21.89s.

Derek Leung drives Pingwu Spark to victory, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club

“We’ll look at the programme and see what the handicapper does before we make a plan,” trainer Benno Yung said of the 2.4 favourite. “He’s still improving, he’ll stay a mile, and he should go to Class 1, maybe higher.”

Runner-up Doctor Geoff, a three-year-old import, won two from three in Ireland including a Naas Listed race in May. The compact bay is another that could make his way into the Four-Year-Old Classic Series. His final 400m split of 21.58s under Chadwick was the fastest at the 1400m trip this season.

“He’s a nice little horse,” Chadwick said. “His prep has been nice into his first race and he’s fairly fit but there’s still some to work on. We tracked the winner into the race but the winner was cruising and idling a bit and he picked up – but he’s already race fit and he’s acclimatised. My horse just needs a bit of time and he’ll get further.”

The John Size-trained Premiere (129lb) took his unbeaten run for the season to three, all under Teetan, with victory in race seven, the Class 2 Chevalier Lifts & Escalators Handicap (1000m). Last season’s Champion Griffin returned the 3.4 second-pick and edged the verdict by a short-head from stablemate and 2.1 favourite House Of Fun (128lb).

That success gave Teetan a double and the rider made it three for the afternoon aboard the Frankie Lor-trained Morethanlucky in race nine.

Hong Kong racing resumes on Wednesday, 29 November at Happy Valley Racecourse.