Three in a row for Duke Wai

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Duke Wai

hit overdrive late in the play to land his third win on the bounce in the Class 3 Long Valley Handicap (1000m), at yesterday's (21 December) pre-Christmas meeting, sealing a double for trainer .

“The 1000 metres is getting him out of his comfort zone so we'll look to go a little bit further. He's much improved from last season, like a lot of horses do, and he's done a great job,” O'Sullivan said.

As well as a step up in distance, the handler is now more than likely looking at a step up to Class 2 for his four-year-old, rated 75 for this afternoon's task under .

“I think at about his third start, when he just went whoosh the last bit, I thought he was probably better than Class 4, he really did accelerate,” O'Sullivan said.

“He's come back bigger and this season; he hasn't had many races so he should handle himself in Class 2. And horses that can handle themselves in Class 2 in , you take your hat off to them, especially if they've come from a rating of 52.

O'Sullivan's (125lb) won the opener, the Class 5 Club Road Handicap (1600m), for the Friends Of Liverpool Syndicate. The five-year-old fended off the grinding closer Money Winner (122lb) to break his maiden under Derek Leung at the 14th attempt, by three quarters of a length.

King's Man's tough success in the Class 4 Kwu Tung Handicap (1800m) ensured Ricky Yiu will enjoy Christmas as Hong Kong's leading trainer. He had to thank to for his 26th win of the term, the Irishman delivering a trademark ride of belligerent strength to get the seven-year-old gelding home by a short-head and the same in a bobbing finish.

But Yiu was not finished. He notched win 27 in the finale thanks to a cheeky Grant van Niekerk ride atop the front-running Simple Elegant. The gelding's success in the Class 3 Yin Kong Handicap (1400m) was his third from four runs this campaign.

Dennis Yip collected a race-to-race double thanks to Fire And Gold (117lb) and Sam's Choice (123lb), taking his season's tally to eight.

The former opened his account at start 19, winning the Class 5 Ng Tung River Handicap (1200m) cosily under Moreira. The latter, meanwhile, dug deep for Purton to win the Class 4 Kam Tsin Handicap (1400m) from the Moreira-ridden three-year-old (125lb).

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