Caspar Fownes struck a double from only five runners on the Happy Valley card on Wednesday night and the handler had praise for both winning jockeys, particularly Olivier Doleuze. The veteran Frenchman notched his 11th win of the campaign and his third from the past two Happy Valley fixtures.
“That was a ten out of ten ride for Ollie, he deserves that,” Fownes said after watching Doleuze make a race-winning move aboard 8.6 chance Winaswewish with 650m remaining of the Class 4 Mount Davis Handicap (1650m).
“It was a great ride, he got the horse in a good position; the sectionals just looked a little bit slow and he just took off at the right time – it was a winning move. I’m very happy for Ollie, he’s been riding really well since he’s come back, he needs some more support – he’s doing a great job and hopefully some people will give him a chance. He deserves to be given an opportunity because he’s a very good jockey.”
Olivier Doleuze celebrates victory after Winaswewish crosses the line first in the Mount Davis Handicap, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club
Vincent Ho kicked off the Fownes brace in tandem with 2.8 favourite Jumbo Happiness, a graduate of last year’s Hong Kong International Sale. The Fastnet Rock four-year-old charged centre-track to overhaul the Joao Moreira-ridden Cheer Win close home and seal the opening Class 4 Pok Fu Lam Handicap (1200m).
“It was nice for the horse to get his first win and hopefully he’ll start to improve now. He’s a little bit young and he just needed the blinkers to sharpen him up. The draw (gate 1) helped him and it was a good ride by Vincent,” Fownes said.
“The horse gets a little bit excited at Sha Tin saddling up, he’s still a little bit immature but later on he’s going to get a longer distance. Slowly, slowly, he’ll start to improve.”
Joao Moreira notched a treble, kicking off with the Tony Millard-trained Golden Partners in the Class 5 Kong Sin Wan Handicap (1800m). The champion jockey then helped Size to a double with a win on the champion trainer’s Wayfoong Vinnie in the Class 3 Sha Wan Handicap (1000m); and Pikachu wrapped things up with a comfortable victory under top-weight in the Class 3 Tin Wan Handicap (1650m).
And Leung, like Prebble earlier, benefitted from Purton’s discomfort as he picked up a winning spare on the Paul O’Sullivan-trained Harrier Jet in the Class 3 Shek Pai Wan Handicap (1200m).
Hong Kong racing resumes at Sha Tin on Sunday, 19 March when Rapper Dragon will attempt to see off 13 talented rivals in the BMW Hong Kong Derby. If successful, John Moore’s charge would become the first horse to win all three legs of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series.