Alfred Chan on Cloud Nine with first treble
Australasia-trained rider happy with his progress
Claiming-rider Alfred Chan broke new ground at Sha Tin on Sunday, achieving the first three-timer of his career.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Apprentice Jockeys' School rider opened with Magic Supreme, continued with Care Free Prince and wrapped up with Baltic Whisper.
The crowning victory came in the Class 3 Fu Tai Handicap over 1,000m, with Chan urging the Danny Shum-trained Baltic Whisper stand-side in the rain to hold off the Joao Moreira-ridden favourite War Of Courage by a short head.
The treble brought his season's tally to 22 winners.
"That feels good - absolutely," said Chan.
"I galloped him the other day and I said to Danny that he worked much better than when I rode him earlier this season.
"The weather and the track conditions affected a lot today but he enjoyed it."
The rider, now 16 months into his Hong Kong career, had already posted three doubles this season, the latest only a week ago.
"The important thing for me is that now we're at the end of the season, my seven-pound (3.18kg) claim is really helping the horses," he said.
"I'm progressing slightly and gradually, just getting better and learning all the time."
Chan went close to matching Matthew Poon's four wins when his mount, Mister Monte, finished a narrow second to Great Smart.
"I was beaten by a short head. I was a little bit angry about it, but I couldn't help the draw (13). Racing is racing -one day you beat the others and another day they beat you," he said.
Chan, 26, began his overseas training in New Zealand in April 2015 under Christchurch-based trainer Mike McCann.
He later joined trainer Allan Sharrock in New Plymouth.
From 469 rides in New Zealand, he rode 49 winners.
He relocated to South Australia in December 2017. He first trained with Morphettville-based trainer Lloyd Kennewell and then Jon O'Connor. He rode 51 wins from 603 race rides.
On returning to Hong Kong, he was indentured to trainer Frankie Lor.
His first local winner, Care Free Prince, came at Sha Tin on April 7 last year.
He ended his first term with nine wins.