History was made in race four, the Class 4 Kingston Handicap (1650m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night, when Hui Sai Fun became the first owner to reach 100 wins in Hong Kong. Moreira drove the widely-respected nonagenarian’s Contribution (124lb) to a neck victory over the fast-closing Good Choice Ahead (115lb) and spark long-awaited celebrations.
Contribution drives clear under Joao Moreira to give Hui Sai Fun his 100th win as an owner
Hui had been on the 99 mark since 16 July – the final day of last season – when Calculation carried his familiar red, white and blue striped silks to within one win of a ground-breaking century. The owner was not in attendance tonight but that did not dampen trainer Tony Cruz’s elation.
“I’m so happy – to accomplish the 100th win, it’s a goal achieved that has made everybody happy,” Cruz said after welcoming the 2.9 favourite. “I’m proud of my team and Joao Moreira, the main jockey, to get the 100th win for Mr. Hui Sai Fun.”
The owner’s first win came more than 60 years ago on 5 October, 1957 when the Wong Siu Hung-trained Temptation scored under three-time champion jockey Marcel Samarcq. That was a little more than nine months after Cruz, 61, was born – most of Hui’s horses since have been named for words ending with ‘tion’.
“Back in the days when I was a jockey, I rode winners for him, too, and to train this horse for him to make history today, I’m proud to be a part of it. I’m so glad we could get this win: I was hoping I could do it for him.
“He knew me back when I rode as an apprentice and it’s an honour to train for him too. He’s been an owner in Hong Kong for such a long time and he’s the only one who could do it – he was owning horses before I was born!”
Hong Kong racing resumes at Sha Tin Racecourse on Saturday, 13 January.