High Five for Martin Harley
Irish rider breaks Hong Kong duck on 87-1 outsider
Jockey Martin Harley broke his Hong Kong duck at Happy Valley on Wednesday night, with an accomplished ride on the Tony Millard-trained longshot High Five.
"It's a big relief, for sure - it's definitely not easy here," said the Irishman, after driving the 87-1 chance to a short-head success in the Class 3 Fenwick Handicap over 1,200m over the fast-finishing Alcari.
Harley had endured a sparse run of outs since arriving in town at the beginning of last month.
On Hong Kong's hard-nosed circuit, securing race rides is difficult enough, and the new arrival from Britain managed only 14 before Wednesday, a third-place being his best.
A two-meeting suspension hadn't helped his cause either. But Harley had caught the eye of the in-form Millard, and, as good as his word, the South African handler gave the jockey his chance.
"I've been annoying Mr Millard a little bit for a winner because I've seen that he's well able to train them. He said he'd give me a winner and fair play to him - thankfully, my first one is for him and hopefully he supports me going forward," said Harley.
Despite the limited opportunities and back-door finishes, Harley feels he has learnt plenty so far.
"The first few rides have been a good learning curve. It's not like English racing, you can't stay jollied up to the furlong (200m) pole and then expect them to go - you have to keep the rhythm up here.
"High Five is the best horse I've ridden by far since I came here and he proved it by winning. He was an 80-1 shot, or whatever, but he's been in Class 1 company before and ran well, so it wasn't a big shock to me."
And, with a win on the board, he is keen to kick on and put his lean first month behind him.
"That's a good confidence booster tonight. It's a big relief to get my first winner and it's proven that I can ride a winner or maybe more in Hong Kong." - HKJC
Yesterday's Kranji barrier trial results
Eye Guy caught the eye at yesterday morning's Kranji barrier trials.
Ridden by jockey Glen Boss, the Michael Clements-trained four-year-old Australian-bred showed abundant speed and romped home by 3¾ lengths in under one minute (59.85sec) for the 1,000m on the Polytrack.
He beat a smart one in last-start winner Ararat Lady.
Eye Guy has proven to be a model of consistency. He has notched three wins and two thirds from just seven starts. Keep him in view.
TRIAL 1 (ORT/PRACTICE)
1 Easy South East (M Rodd) *
2 Cher (B Thompson) ORT
3 Flying Sky (B Woodworth)
4 Mamamia Mamamia (G Boss)
Margins and time: 2¾, shd, 5 (1min 02.12sec)
TRIAL 2 (TEST/PRACTICE)
1 Eye Guy (Boss) 1,000m/vet
2 Ararat Lady (Rodd)
3 Barbeque (R Zawari) newcomer
4 Our Dynamite (V Duric)
5 Hostwin Queen (S Shafrizal) 1,000m/blinkers
6 Elise (Woodworth)
7 Deimos (I Saifudin)
8 Sahara Eagle (Thompson)
Margins and time: 3¾, 2¼, ½, ½, ¾, ¾, ¾ (59.85sec)
TRIAL 3 (PRACTICE)
1 Poseidon (Saifudin) *
2 Pennywise (C Murray) *
3 Copacabana (Thompson)
4 On Electric Avenue (M Kellady)
5 Al Green (I Amirul)
6 Bengal Lancer (Rodd)
7 Yaya Papaya (Z Zuriman)
8 Pole Paradise (A Syahir)
9 Webster (CS Chin)
Margins and time: ½, 2, nk, shd, ½, shd, hd, 12½ (1:00.43)
TRIAL 4 (PRACTICE)
1 Yulong Fast Steed (Murray) *
2 Majestic Empress (T Krisna)
3 I'm A Conqueror (Saifudin) *
4 Mr David *
5 Ottawa (Rodd)
6 Yulong Jazz (D Moor)
7 Lizaz (Amirul)
8 Pavoratti (Thompson)
9 Super Ray (Boss)
10 Prince Ferdinand (WS Chan)
Margins and time: Shd, nk, nk, hd, ½, 1¼, 1¼, ½, nk (1:01.55)
TRIAL 5 (PRACTICE)
1 Plato (Moor) *
2 Phan Nee Star (Chan)
3 Einstein's Cross (Merve)
4 Blitz Power (N Zyrul)
5 Gros Piton (Thompson)
6 Nate's Honour (Rodd)
7 Millennium Rule (Amirul)
8 Jumpin Jack (Murray)
9 Looks Good
10 Amazing Man (S Noh)
Margins and time: Hd, 2½, hd, ½, 1, ½, 1, 1½, 1½ (1:02.24)