Golden Canon fires home Francis Lui's 600th career winner
Jockey Vincent Ho fired Golden Cannon through a tight alley to secure trainer Francis Lui's 600th career win at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
Lui's standout career triumph came with Lucky Bubbles in the 2017 Group 1 Chairman's Sprint Prize. But this latest landmark success was achieved at the opposite end of the quality scale, in the Class 5 Sham Shui Po Handicap over 1,650m.
"I'm happy about that and now I'll try my best to get more. I never think about these things, I just keep going. It's not easy," said Lui of reaching the 600-winner mark.
The trainer has an in-form ally in Ho, who collected his 27th win of the campaign. Ten of those victories have been on Lui horses, accounting for the lion's share of the stable's running total of 12 this season.
"Vincent is riding well, he's got more confidence now and he's improving. I'm happy to see it," said Lui.
Golden Cannon sealed his third win - at start No. 34 - with a determined drive that held off Dashing Dart by a neck.
"This horse has a good fighting heart and, this season, he's taken time to get his condition but the last two runs you could see he was getting there," said Lui.
The night's feature, the Class 4 Hong Kong Football Club Centenary Cup Handicap over 1,200m, went to the David Ferraris-trained London Master.
Neil Callan got to work on the seven-year-old with 550m to race, and, routed wide down the home straight, the Hong Kong International Sale graduate edged Travel Datuk by a head at odds of 19-1.
"He hasn't been running too badly, I was surprised he was an outsider," said said. "His form has been mixed but his last run was quite good. You have to get him into his stride and then the tempo of the race determines how and where he's going to finish."
Another International Sale graduate hit the mark in the Class 4 Siu Sai Wan Handicap over 1,650m. The Danny Shum-trained Charity Grand landed a breakthrough win by a head under jockey Karis Teetan.
Michael Chang has battled near the foot of the trainers' table in recent seasons but the handler notched his third win this month - at a strike rate of 16.6 per cent - when jockey Joao Moreira rode a calm race to make it two wins on the bounce for The Joy Of Giving. The five-year-old took the 2,200m Class 5 opener by a length from Sweet Bean.
The Brazilian bookended the card, riding a canny-stalking race on Bank On Red and then driving strongly to the wire, adjusting to keep his mount straight late in the run. The John Size-trained favourite survived an objection from Grant van Niekerk on runner-up Arcada.
Music Addition left his mark on the night with a powerful display to win the Class 3 So Kon Po Handicap over 1,200m. The Me Tsui-trained four-year-old raced close to the pace-setting Blocker Dee and when that rival felt the pressure early in the home straight, the Australian import exploded away to a three-length victory. - HKJC