Jockey Brett Prebble put himself into rare company when he became just the third rider in Hong Kong history to reach 800 winners after taking Sunday’s feature at Sha Tin, the Class 1 Singapore Turf Club Trophy Handicap (1200m), aboard Amazing Kids.
Prebble, who has been based in Hong Kong for more than 15 years, joined legends Douglas Whyte (1774) and Tony Cruz (946) as an 800-win rider when guiding the John Size-trained Amazing Kids (133lb) to a tough half-length win over the front-running Fabulous One (109lb).
“It is special,” Prebble said. “It is only a number, but it does mean something. It was just a dry period to get it, though, the whole of February and into March to go from 799 to 800. Given one week here can sometimes feel like a month, it feels like forever since my last win! Still, it’s a decent feat, but I’m already looking towards 900.
“John’s fantastic, he will always support those of us who might not be getting much support elsewhere. He always throws you a bone, and he’s always been happy to put me on this horse. I really enjoy riding for him, especially on Amazing Kids, so to bring up that mark on this horse means a lot.”
Brett Prebble celebrates in the saddle after bringing up his 800th Hong Kong win aboard Amazing Kids in the Singapore Turf Club Trophy, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club
Amazing Kids, a two-time G3 winner last season, scored his first win for the term in the Singapore Turf Club Trophy. It was the first time in almost two years that the Falkirk six-year-old had stepped away from Group company.
“It was a good confidence booster for him, sometimes these horses who are always in the Group races need it and I think it will do him the world of good,” he said. “He’s very honest anyway but that might just give him that confidence to find an extra half-length up in grade.
“I remember when I got on Sacred Kingdom in 2009, he hadn’t won in a year and he only just fell in to win, but then he went to Singapore and he beat a top-class field easily.
He continued: “Today, at the 400m, it was a matter of when I wanted to win the race. He got there, but his run probably ended a bit early, plus he had more than 20 pounds’ difference with the runner-up. He is an amazing horse, though. When you ride him in the trials, he feels like a Class 5 horse – sometimes he can get panelled and beaten 30 lengths. His last trial, back on the turf, he felt a bit better, his desire was there and I said to John there, he was cherry ripe to run a race.”
Size, who saddled up a treble at Sha Tin on Sunday with Remarkable and Calculation also victorious, said it hadn’t been all smooth sailing for Amazing Kids since he finished a last-start fifth behind stablemates Mr Stunning and D B Pin in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) in December.
“He had a temperature and was quite sick and missed about a fortnight of work, but normally when they have something like this, it was probably due and they will probably do well afterwards,” he said. “Today, he was a Group 1 horse in a handicap. The weight didn’t seem to have much of an effect.”
Amazing Kids has a number of potential options; he could continue on a domestic campaign geared towards the G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) on 29 April, while he also holds an entry for the G1 Al Quoz Sprint (1200m) in Dubai on 31 March. However, Size would not be drawn on where he would head next: “I have a plan with him, but I will see how he pulls up tomorrow.”
It may have been 12 years between Whyte and Prebble reaching the 800-win milestone, but the exclusive club may soon have a fourth member in Zac Purton. The Australian rider sits on 791 after a double at Sha Tin on Sunday, scoring aboard the John Moore-trained Beauty Prince in the Class 2 Lion City Handicap (1650m) and Dennis Yip’s Super Wise in the Class 3 Singapore River Handicap (1200m).