No stopping Duke Wai, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

No stopping Duke Wai

Paul O'Sullivan-trained hat-trick winner going from strength to strength, will attempt longer distances

Duke Wai on Saturday hit overdrive late in the play at Sha Tin to land his third win on the bounce in the Class 3 Long Valley Handicap over 1,000m, sealing a double for trainer Paul O'Sullivan.

"The 1,000 metres is getting him out of his comfort zone, so we'll look to go a little bit further.

"He's much improved from last season, like a lot of horses do, and he's done a great job," said O'Sullivan.

As well as a step-up in distance, the handler is now more than likely looking at a step up to Class 2 for his four-year-old, rated 75 for Saturday afternoon's task under in-form Mauritian jockey Karis Teetan.

"I think at about his third start, when he just went whoosh the last bit, I thought he was probably better than Class 4, he really did accelerate," said O'Sullivan.

"He's come back bigger and stronger this season. He hasn't had many races, so he should handle himself in Class 2.

"And horses that can handle themselves in Class 2 in Hong Kong, you take your hat off to them, especially if they've come from a rating of 52."

O'Sullivan's Liverbird Star won the opener - the Class 5 Jockey Club Road Handicap over 1,600m - for the Friends Of Liverpool Syndicate.

The five-year-old fended off the grinding closer Money Winner to break his maiden under Derek Leung at the 14th attempt, by ¾ lengths.

Ricky Yu's King's Man's tough success in the Class 4 Kwu Tung Handicap over 1,800m ensured the trainer will enjoy Christmas as Hong Kong's leading trainer.

He had Neil Callan to thank to for his 26th win of the term, the Irishman delivering a trademark ride of belligerent strength to get the seven-year-old gelding home by a short head in a bobbing finish.

But Yiu was not finished.

He notched win No. 27 in the finale, thanks to a cheeky Grant van Niekerk ride atop the front-running Simple Elegant.

The gelding's success in the Class 3 Yin Kong Handicap over 1,400m was his third from four runs this campaign.

Trainer Dennis Yip collected a race-to-race double, thanks to Fire And Gold and Sam's Choice, taking his season's tally to eight winners.

Fire And Gold opened his account at start No. 19, winning the Class 5 Ng Tung River Handicap over 1,200m cosily under Joao Moreira.

Sam's Choice dug deep for champion jockey Zac Purton to win the Class 4 Kam Tsin Handicap over 1,400m from the Moreira-ridden three-year-old Leap Of Faith. - HKJC