Vincent Ho will partner the highly-regarded Ka Ying Star in Sunday’s Derby but at Happy Valley on Wednesday night it was business as usual as he teamed with Francis Lui to produce Alpha Hedge in the night’s trophy race, the Class 4 Ewo Challenge Trophy Handicap (1650m).
It was Lui’s 16th win of the campaign. Ho has steered home 13 of those victors and the handler was happy to relate what makes the partnership work.
“Vincent’s a hard worker and his only thought is how he can win the race,” he said. “He has a focus on what he wants to achieve and that’s something you want to see in a jockey.”
Alpha Hedge had made the frame four times in his last five starts but this evening’s success was a career first for the five-year-old at his 13th try.
“He was always very close,” Lui said. “He needs cover and last time Joao Moreira was unlucky, he was three wide. This time, Vincent knew from experience what he needed to do.”
Vincent Ho and Alpha Hedge, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club
The admirably consistent Blitzing sealed a Tony Cruz double when landing section one of the Class 3 Matheson Handicap (1200m) under Karis Teetan. The four-year-old followed stablemate Bullish Brother’s win under Matthew Poon in the Class 5 opener.
“The time wasn’t impressive but I think he still has a bit of improvement in him,” Cruz said of Blitzing after the gelding nailed his third win at start 12. “He has a racing mind now and he’s much more professional.
“He’s a Class 3 horse, he’s no superstar, but he’s been consistent. What I like about him is his size and his conformation, he has a very strong body, a good sprinting frame and he can take his races.”
Neil Callan was on the board with the Richard Gibson-trained Jolly Convergence at 27/1 in race two. Matthew Chadwick and trainer Benno Yung combined to take the fifth with breakthrough winner Cinquante Cinq.
Hong Kong racing continues at Sha Tin on BMW Hong Kong Derby Day, Sunday, 17 March.
Blitzing and Karis Teetan, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club