Alberto Sanna and Ricky Yiu capped a double together when Speedy King took the Class 2 Ivictory Handicap (1200m) at 50/1, following After Me’s success in the Class 5 Sir John Handicap (1000m) at Happy Valley last night, Wednesday, 23 October.
The Italian rider now has five wins on the board this season, with the Douglas Whyte stable providing the other three.
“I wasn’t getting much support apart from Douglas so to get two wins from another trainer is very nice, I’m really happy. Ricky has been very good to me to give me these two rides today,” Sanna said.
“It’s great to have a double and hopefully I can have more support from other stables. I’m not a stable jockey – I’m on a Club contract so I want to have more support from everyone.”
Sanna endured a torrid time last season with two long spells on the sidelines due to injuries. But this term has brought a new approach.
“It’s been very positive riding for Douglas because it’s kept me very busy and I’ve been riding nice horses. In this game confidence is everything and I’m riding with confidence, you can see that today, this horse is 50/1!
“I just delete last year, it was terrible and I’ve changed many things. It’s all mental changes and living more healthy – I pray to be healthy all season so that people can see how good I am.
“My family helps me a lot and Douglas’ family has also helped to change my mindset to be more positive, to put away the past and now I’m working well to be positive.”
Yiu is on a hot streak: the handler welcomed his 11th and 12th wins of the campaign, making it four from his last eight runners.
Before tonight, Sanna’s only previous win for the stable was back in March 2018.
“Ricky said to me in the parade ring that Speedy King can be unbelievable: you have to try because he tries very hard and he likes it when you really try hard on him,” the rider said.
Another Italian, Umberto Rispoli, took the bull by the horns down the back straight in the Class 4 Flying Elite Handicap (1650m), rousting Enjoy Life (123lb) from seventh to first between the 700 and 600-metre points. But Chad Schofield was wise to the move, tracking smoothly aboard the Richard Gibson-trained Right Honourable (133lb) who battled past Rispoli’s mount to score by a neck.
After watching his smart young gallopers Classic Unicorn and Mr Croissant turned over as race favourites on Sunday, Chris So was pleased to bag a double. The trainer kicked off the night with victory in the opening Class 5 Glory Star Handicap (1650m) when Karis Teetan drove Wonderful Tiger to a first Hong Kong success at his 28th start.
So followed up in the Class 4 LONGINES Cup Handicap (1200m) when Zac Purton steered 2.1 favourite Happy Time to a first win at the 15th attempt.
Grant van Niekerk lifted the Me Tsui-trained Jolly Honour (117lb) to take the Class 3 Dordenma Handicap (1650m) by a neck in a tussle with the Regan Bayliss-ridden Surrealism (120lb).