Alberto Sanna has had a torrid Hing Kong season with two bad injuries curtailing his opportunities. The Italian was sidelined for eight weeks with a shattered hip and then, three months after returning from that set-back, endured five weeks out with a broken ankle.
“It was tough this last time because it was my second injury and I missed nine winners – horses that were confirmed, on my book. But this sort of thing doesn't destroy me, it makes me stronger. And I’ll be back stronger next season,” he said after guiding Great Treasure to a 36/1 success in the Class 4 On Lan Handicap (1400m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.
“I love this horse, he gave me my first win this year and hopefully this one is not my last this year!” he smiled. “It’s good to have a win at my third meeting back and it’s the second time that Me Tsui has supported me with a winner shortly after coming back.”
Great Treasure overcame gate 13 and rattled down centre-track for a last-to-first victory, Sanna’s sixth of the campaign.
“I rode the horse by feeling. I know him and I knew the pace was on so I waited carefully behind,” Sanna said.
Matthew Poon roared to a 2,350/1 double. The jockey notched only his second win in the past two months in taking the afternoon’s trophy race, the Class 3 Sports Club Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup Handicap (1200m), driving the 61/1 Shum-trained Reel Bizzy (119lb) to a head success over race leader Sunny Boy (133lb).
Poon followed up on 37/1 chance Vigor Fame in the next, the Class 3 Shelley Handicap (1800m), for trainer Francis Lui.
Aldo Domeyer has enjoyed a solid start to his Hong Kong career and made an important ally when claiming his seventh win. The South African had never ridden for trainer John Moore before but, handed the chance on Good Beauty, he grasped it in some style.
Domeyer scraped paint three back in the Class 3 Old Bailey Handicap (1400m) but shifted out upon straightening: Faced with a wall of horses, the rider darted his mount back to the inside after the 200m point and the four-year-old spurted home to score by a head.
Purton took his season’s haul to 148 when the Ricky Yiu-trained Indigenous Star landed race two, the Class 5 Cochrane Handicap (1600m).
Derek Leung teamed up with Lakeshore Eagle (115lb) for a last stride win in the Class 3 Wyndham Handicap (1200m), edging out the Moreira-ridden Aerohappiness (125lb). Winner and second were together at the tail turning in, but while Aerohappiness had to take the wide route, the Chris So-trained victor cannoned down the inside rail to take the spoils.
Hong Kong racing continues back at Sha Tin on Sunday, 23 June.
Great Treasure and Albert Sanna, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club