Angus Chung jubilated in the best haul of his fledgling Hong Kong career when the apprentice slotted a treble at Happy Valley on Wednesday night to vault into third place in the Hong Kong jockeys' championship.
Trailing only Zac Purton and Hugh Bowman, who both have 20 wins for the season, Chung took his tally to 12 with victories aboard Douglas Whyte-trained pair Majestic Knight and Zoom Boom and also Righteous Arion for Tony Cruz.
“It's great, some good bookings. The horses did well and we had good barriers,” Chung, 27, said. “I'd had a double here before and also at Sha Tin, but never a treble – so it's great.”
Capitalising on his seven-pound claim, Chung not only delivered a Hong Kong career-best but also earned the praise of 13-time Hong Kong champion jockey Douglas Whyte after Zoom Boom's narrow triumph.
“Angus rode a good race. He's come a long way, he's really riding well and he's riding with confidence. He's making a difference and when you've got seven pounds off, it's a huge benefit,” Whyte said.
Chung returned to Hong Kong last season and rode 31 winners in his debut campaign after posting 76 wins from 689 rides in South Australia. Indentured to six-time champion jockey Cruz, Chung began his spree tonight when Majestic Knight cruised to a three-and-a-half length victory in the Class 3 Cheong Wan Handicap (1000m) for Whyte.
“The horse has been a model of consistency,” Whyte said, pointing to the Redoute's Choice gelding's effort to slot five seconds from his past 14 starts until tonight's blistering performance.
“He's been a bit unlucky, I took the seven pounds off in weight tonight with Angus' claim – he probably didn't need it but I wasn't taking any chances – and it made the difference and Angus rode a beautiful race.”
Whyte and Chung clinched a race-to-race double when Zoom Boom landed the Class 4 Chinese General Chamber Of Commerce Cup Handicap (1200m), prevailing by a nose over Sight Hero before Chung closed out his three-timer atop Righteous Arion in the Class 4 Hing Wah Handicap (1200m).
Luke Ferraris continued his bountiful connection with Whyte-trained The Good Deal. Ferraris, 21, is the only jockey to win on the Deep Field gelding in Hong Kong. Taking his record to three wins from 22 starts, the six-year-old steamed down the middle of the track under Ferraris' urgings in an impressive return to form.
“Douglas had planned out this race for a while and he did a great job in freshening him up,” Ferraris said. “The horse felt great today and under the 135 pounds – he's a small horse – he did a very good job. He was superbly prepared by Douglas.”
Of his treble, Whyte said: “It's nice – it's been a long time coming.”
Less than a week after Romantic Warrior's historic Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) triumph at Moonee Valley, Danny Shum moved to the top of the Hong Kong trainers' championship with Chill Chibi's spectacular win under Lyle Hewitson.
Given a patient ride by Hewitson, Chill Chibi showcased his talent after being sidelined with lameness since February when he won impressively over tonight's course and distance.
Shum has 14 wins for the term and leads Francis Lui (13), Pierre Ng (12), Frankie Lor (12) and Caspar Fownes (12).
Lucky Archangel made it three wins in a row, for Lor and Matthew Poon – and denying Chung, who rode second-placed Colourful Emperor, a four-timer in the process.
Fortune Triple staved off Sunny Baby under Karis Teetan to give Me Tsui his second win of the campaign. Tsui snared his brace of the season when Matthew Chadwick coaxed the best out of Fortune President.
Teetan also nailed a double when Michael Chang's Wood On Fire prevailed. It was the eight-year-old's seventh victory over the course and distance, taking the veteran's earnings to beyond HK$7 million.