Hot King Prawn was one of two debutant winner’s for trainer John Size at Sha Tin on Saturday. The grey, sent off as a 1.4 shot, obliged with a no-nonsense two and a quarter-length verdict from the front under Zac Purton in 57.12s.
“He’s a nice horse, he did what was expected,” Purton said. “He showed good speed – he’s got a lovely action so he cruised along nicely. It was what you would want to see at a horse’s first start.”
Hot King Prawn impressed on debut in the Chairmen's Day Plate, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club
Umberto Rispoli had a very different experience atop Size’s Ivictory in the Class 4 Swaine Cup Handicap. The course, race distance and result might have been the same, but the Italian rider was pumping along in a seemingly tame ninth position at the halfway stage as the Purton-ridden Super Junior surged ahead.
The Mossman three-year-old, a 5.5 chance, responded with a devouring late drive to nick the result by a head in a time of 56.90s.
“Ivictory’s a good horse – he was very green. He didn’t have his action together at the 500-metre mark but when I hit him once he responded very well and was just too good,” Rispoli said.
Chad Schofield halted Purton’s early march when partnering Forever Posh in race four, the Class 4 Purves Quaich Handicap (1650m). The Dylan Thomas gelding had raced 15 times in Hong Kong without success, but, with trainer Richard Gibson in good form, the five-year-old obliged at 9.3. Purton had to settle for second on Namjong Invincible.
Neil Callan teamed with the Moore-trained Agree to land race six, the Class 4 Wong Cup Handicap (1400m). The 7.3 chance clung on by a short-head from the fast-closing Diamond Mysterious under Chiong.
Keith Yeung claimed a first win since 19 February, putting him one shy of his 200th Hong Kong victory, when the Peter Ho-trained Happy Journey lunged late to take the Class 3 Chan Trophy Handicap (1400m).
The track was changed to good to yielding ahead of the finale, the Class 3 Stevenson Cup Handicap (1400m) in which Chiong held off the Purton-ridden, Moore-trained Sunny Way to win the Class 3 Stevenson Cup Handicap (1400m) atop Beauty Kingdom – a third win on the day for the Cruz stable.