Macau Derby Most Open In Years
The 26th running of the SJM Macau Derby on May 20 is shaping to be one of the most open in years.
Ridden by Charlie Chan, Sacred Man enjoyed a lovely run midfield against the rail before peeling off the fence to the centre of the track at the two hundred, to charge home over the top of highly fancied Krystrump (Charles Perkins), with Chromium Alloy (Horace Lam) running in well for third.
Sacred Man was originally a $A350,000 purchase at the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling sale by Chris Waller Racing.
The gelding raced in Australia as Triple Ex when prepared by Waller for Raffles Racing where he won two races from eight starts, with both his wins coming at Hawkesbury at 1500 and 1600 metres.
The gelding was only beaten 3.8 lengths at Randwick over 1800 metres.
Whilst he may not have lived up to expectations in Australia, the gelding 12 months on looks like he has matured into a nice horse with a race like the Derby not out of the question.
Never one to rush his horse’s trainer Joe Lau is reserving his decision to run Sacred Man in the Group 1 Macau Guineas the first leg of the Triple Crown on April 22.
“I won’t say at this stage. I need to see just how he comes through this race and I’ll go from there.”
“Yes the Derby is in my mind but what I do from here to there will depend on the horse.” Lau said
“It was a good win and a good ride by Charlie (Chan).”
“When he bought him to the middle of the track he found the better ground and this horse needs good ground to show his best.”
Second placed Krystrump was gallant in defeat and lost no admirers. The Peter Leyshan prepared gelding looks as though he will run out a strong 1800 metres of the Derby.
Race favorite Macau Moonlight (Peter Ho) who is desperately trying to enough rating points to gain a Derby start was disappointing after sporting the blinkers first time in Macau.
Macau Moonlight has produced a couple of huge efforts from the tail of the field at 1500 metres, and is a genuine 1800 metre galloper who would not be out of place in the Derby.
However a quick mid race from last by Peter Ho on Saturday failed to pay off with the gelding fading after being prominent on the turn. The Class 2 & 3 over 1800 metres next Saturday should he win, may be his only chance to gain a Derby start.
Wichita Linesman was super impressive the way he hit the line in the 4YO Prelude two weeks ago and must be a strong Derby chance. Éclair Journey continues to turn in honest efforts and his third in the Prelude after a checkered passage in the straight was full of merit.
* ENGLISH import Gracywife provided trainer Craig Marshall and jockey Charles Perkins with a welcome change of luck on Friday nights sand program with a strong all the way win in the Class 4 over 1050 metres.
Gracywife showed brilliant speed away from the gates and was never in doubt to clock a slick 1.02.5 for the trip which was far superior then any time posted for a long while for the Class 4 grade.
Marshall and Perkins came close to double for the night with Hong Kong Winepro just going down late to Valiant Fella (Peter Ho) in the 25 to 45 rated event over 1510 metres earlier in the night.
Charles Perkins made it a double for the weekend when he guided problem child Hostwin Valentino home in the last on Saturday the Class 3 over 1200 metres.
Hostwin Valentino is blessed with dazzling speed but has had a history of bleeding problems and often gets weak at the end of his races. At his most recent run on January 7 the son of Mossman (Aud) turned on a rodeo exhibition when his saddle shifted soon after the start with jockey Martin Wepner doing a great job to stay on top.
Saturday there was no such problems with the gelding racing kindly in the run.
Peter Ho again took riding honors over the weekend with a treble on Friday nights sand card.
In four of the past five weeks Peter Ho has been the most successful jockey and has whittled Luis Corrales’s Premiership lead down to just a two win lead.
Corrales leads on 31 wins for the season over Ho’s 29 victories. Wayne Smith sits in third on 19 wins.
Two of Peter Ho’s winners on Friday night look to be outstanding horses in the making.
Sacred Missile from the Joe Lau yard made it two wins from his two starts with a dominant win in the Class 4 over 1350 metres, and King Of Realestate toyed with his rivals in the Class 2 and 3 over 1350 metres.
Sacred Missile is a half brother to Joe Lau’s former Group 1 winning sprinter Sacred Hussler and appears to doing everything simply on raw ability at the moment.
“Yes he still has a lot to learn this horse.” Joe Lau said.
“He makes it hard for himself he falls out of the gates and he still has not much idea.”
“I’ll probably just keep him on the sand for the time being and we’ll what happens later on.”
King of Realestate is a USA import that is an exciting horse that looks as though he will be a dominant player up to 1600 metres on the sand.
Friday night’s win made it four from four at the 1350 metres distance for the Tony Fung trained galloper.
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