Super Trouper Yiu
High-flying trainer receives trophy from member of Swedish super group ABBA
High-flying trainer Ricky Yiu snared a treble at Happy Valley on Wednesday night and earned a brush with pop royalty - thanks to After Me's courageous win in the Class 4 Swedish Cup Handicap over 1,200m.
"I remember ABBA, the 70's were my time," said Yiu, after Benny Andersson of the Swedish super group presented the silverware.
After Me has flourished since being stabled at Conghua and the four-year-old responded to jockey Matthew Chadwick's stretch-drive with new-found determination.
"It was a gutsy effort, all heart," said Chadwick. "The stable lad, pre-race, said that the horse has come back from China and he's so happy, so full of himself.
"In the race, he wasn't sour like he used to be, and he showed that in the last 150 metres, because he pinned his ears back and he tried his hardest."
After Me's Hong Kong record now stands at two from 17, with both wins coming after Yiu transferred the bay to The Hong Kong Jockey Club's mainland facility.
"The feedback from the jockey has been that the horse is so relaxed in the race and, when he was put among horses, he was brave and he kept fighting," said Yiu.
After Me's short-head win in a three-way finish was the middle-leg of Yiu's three-timer, which meant he ended the night with 24 wins in the premiership, six clear of the pack.
Yiu earlier sent out Island Winner to take the opener, the Class 5 Frigatebird Handicap over 1,000m under Derek Leung.
Chadwick doubled up on the trainer's Gentle Breeze to win the Class 3 Sand Martin Handicap over 1,000m.
That was Chadwick's third win this term on the five-year-old and his fifth for Yiu, taking his season's tally to 10.
"Ricky's flying, so it's a stable you want to be riding for. You always want to do better and I'm working my hardest to try and get better rides, quality rides," said Chadwick. - HKJC