Mega Heart delivered an important 16th win of the campaign for trainer Michael Chang at Sha Tin tonight, Wednesday, 12 June.
“See you next season!” the popular handler quipped after reaching the number required to avoid a first ‘strike’ in the Jockey Club’s three and you’re out system.
Chang hit the magic number with eight fixtures in hand. The only Hong Kong trainer to saddle a winner in the United States – a Group 1 at that, thanks to Rich Tapestry’s Santa Anita Sprint Championship – has had a lean time in recent seasons but you wouldn’t know it from his mellow demeanour.
“If I make it, I make it. If I can’t make it, I can’t,” he said.
“I’ve always done the job properly and I get the best out of what I have. I would like to have more winners but the horses just don’t have the ability – I try my best.”
Mega Heart’s (117lb) success was achieved at odds of 21/1 but that price did not reflect Chang’s level of confidence.
“I expected him to run a good race,” he said. “At the start of the season he carried big weights and was only beaten two or three lengths and now he’s dropped down the handicap. I thought the dirt track would suit him, and, off a fast pace, he was always going to be coming at them in the finish.”
Jockey Keith Yeung drove the six-year-old through a deep-closing stretch run to grab the spoils in the final strides from runner-up Simply Big (119lb).