Rispoli breaks season duck

Umberto Rispoli

climbed off the premiership's bottom rung with a welcome first win of the season, leaving Lyle Hewitson, Ben So, and the injured Victor Wong the only jockeys without a win this term.

The Italian had just two rides at on Wednesday and four yesterday afternoon (Sunday, 20 October) at Sha Tin, so making every mount count was vital and he wasted no time. A wide, late run on the David Ferraris-trained snagged the opener, the Class 5 Piaget Excellent Handicap (1400m).

“If he ran like he did when he was third, he was one of the chances – draw 11 made it complicated but I rode him for luck from the back and in the straight. I was trying to be aggressive at first but he didn't respond, so then I was gentle, just hands and heels, shaking the reins left and right, and he responded very well to the line,” Rispoli said.

The rider found a valuable ally in Ferraris last season, with the South African providing four of his 25 wins. The partnership headed into this afternoon's meeting without a win together for this campaign but with a 43% place rate.

“We're both in a similar situation – I need help and he needs help. His horses are well but they seem to draw wide a lot and that makes it more ,” the rider said.

And Rispoli noted the difficulties for Hong Kong's riders in the -Zac Purton era.

“Almost all the time I do what the trainer asks of me but you only have one bullet in the gun so you have to use it otherwise the big boys take the ride away, which I think is a little unfair on those of us outside the top two or three.”

Alfred Chan also had four rides on the day and he made the most of the first two aboard the -trained Big Fortune in the Class 4 Corum Excellent Handicap (1200m) and Mr Lumieres in the Class 3 Franck Muller Excellent Handicap (1000m).

It was the 10lb claimer's first double since his breakthrough Hong Kong wins on 7 April and took his season's tally to five.

Purton notched a on the Benno Yung-trained , while Moreira's win came on Aerohappiness for John Size.

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