Griffins off and running

Trainer John Moore secured a three-timer and was on the mark early doors in the season’s first Griffin race, the Cheung Lin Shan Plate at Sha Tin on Monday. The 1000m contest opened the action and it was Amusing City (120lb), the only two-year-old in the six-runner field, who edged the verdict.

The Sebring gelding, ridden by Sam Clipperton and sporting blinkers on debut, held off the Richard Gibson-trained Lucky Master (129lb) by a short-head in a time of 57.17s.

“That’s a good result, he was just the fittest of the bunch looking at them walking around the paddock, and he was getting the pull in the weights – he’s never missed a day’s work,” Moore said.

“He’s one for next season, definitely – he’d be a miler,” he continued. “He’s immature, of course, and you could see he just tried to throw the towel in just past mid-race; he was reluctant, his tongue’s all over; he had the blinkers on because he can be a little bit funny in the mornings but he’s beaten the three-year-olds, so there is a future for him.”

Moore’s Sunny Way wrapped up proceedings with victory in the last, the Class 3 Siu Ma Shan Handicap (1400m), under Zac Purton. The jockey landed a brace after scoring aboard Lucky Guy for trainer Dennis Yip in race seven, the Class 3 Mount Collinson Handicap (1200m).

Amusing City takes the season’s first Griffin race under Sam Clipperton, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club