Leyshan Fires With Winning Double
Trainer Peter Leyshan kicked off the Year of the Dragon in great style at Taipa with a winning double at Saturday's Chinese New Year meeting including the feature Good Fortune Handicap.
Stable newcomer Glory Forever was the first leg of Leyshan's double when he raced away under Breinell Yamzon with the first of the day the Class 5 & 6 over 1500 metres, after being confidently bet down late to start second favorite.
Leyshan has only had the son of New Trumps for three runs, the first two both encouraging, and is adamant the New Zealand bred gelding can win again.
“We gave him one run then spelled him and he ran well in an unsuitable race on the sand fresh up for us.”
“With the track coming up on the soft side and 1500 he was always going to be hard to beat and he won really well in the finish.” Leyshan said.
“On that he will have no problems winning another at least in the lower grade.”
Regal Flame another New Zealand import showed great courage after being headed to kick back under strong riding by Fausto Durso to beat Turquoise Profit (Roger Yu) in the Good Fortune Handicap over 1200 metres.
A five year old son of Not A Single Doubt, Regal Flame has won three from his past five runs after initially being a bit disappointing early on, but there were excuses for that as Peter Leyshan explained.
“He needed gelding badly, he got to a stage where he would not even jump properly and was not stretching out like he should have been.”
“Since he's been gelded he's been a different horse and is now living up to his good New Zealand form.”
Regal Flame was highly promising winning five races from 13 runs in New Zealand before being bought to Macau by owner Benny Tam.
Leyshan intends on backing the gelding up in the Group 2 Spring Trophy next Saturday over 1400 metres.
* JOE LAU was another who kicked off the New Year well with another double hot on the heels of a double last weekend.
Lau's day started when he presented the rejuvenated Wealthy Boy (Stanley Chin) for a huge win in the Class 5 over 1100 metres.
A lovely big strong looking son of the 1997 Japanese juvenile Champion Grass Wonder, Wealthy Boy had not shown a lot in six starts prior to entering Lau's yard but had been plagued by tendon problems.
Now a rising six year old Wealthy Boy looks to have a couple of classes in hand providing he can stay sound.
Danehill Tiger was the second of Lau's winners when he scrambled home under a lovely ride by Andrew Calder in the Class 3 & 4 over 1200 metres.
It was the second win in Macau for the Australian import that was formerly trained by David Hayes in Victoria who managed two placings from six runs there.
* STANLEY CHIN was the star of the day with a winning treble which included the day's feature the Horse Race IACM Lunar New Year Trophy over 1500 metres on Power Alkhafif.
Chin's day started with Wealthy Boy (Class 5) for trainer Joe Lau before adding another quick win on Windsor Arch for the combined stable of Alan Ngai – Johnny Chan in the Class 4 & 5 over 1800 metres.
But it was the win on the Vincent Chong prepared Power Alkhafif in the New Year Trophy that was no doubt the best of the day as the gelding simply destroyed a good class 2 & 3 field with ridiculous ease.
Power Alkhafif is the former Australian galloper Alkhafif who won one race and was Listed placed behind the smart Dubleanny at Flemington when prepared by David Hayes.
The son of Exceed And Excel had one win and some fair form prior to entering Vincent Chong's yard but the gelding has really blossomed of late.
Two runs for Chong have yielded two second placed efforts behind the talented horses My Pony and Regal Flame prior to Saturdays big win testament to Chong's good work.
Nobody does it better then Stanley Chin who is a world class rider that has ridden successfully in most racing jurisdictions around the globe.
Chin, like Fausto Durso is making hay while the sun shines in the absence of Manoel Nunes who is waylaid with a broken ankle until mid February at least.
Nunes had a big lead in the Jockeys standings prior to his injury on January 4 but that has been eaten away in recent weeks by Durso and Chin.
At present Nunes leads on 29 wins with Fausto Durso on 27 and Stanley Chin on 26.
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John Hawkes has long been among the legendary figures in the training ranks in Australia - confirmed by his induction into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2004 - but he would dearly love to add an international Group 1 success to his resume.