By Graham Cunningham
Vincent Ho stole the show at Sha Tin (Saturday, 13 October) with a thrilling four timer while champion jockey Zac Purton had to settle for just one winner and a string of strongly fancied chances who failed to come up to scratch.
The ultra-consistent Victory Boys ensured Purton didn’t go home winless with a stylish reappearance success in the Class 2 Tsuen Fu Handicap, but local talent Ho outshone him with four dynamic wins which took him to eleven winners for the season and cemented his position as clear third in the jockeys’ table.
Ho set the ball rolling with a dramatic last-to-first surge aboard Francis Lui’s Glittering Armour in Race 3 and doubled up for the same handler in Race 5 when Fortunate Runner forged clear in the Chinese General Chamber Of Commerce Cup.
The popular 28-year-old gave Me Tsui’s Go Public a superb ride to bring up his treble in the Class 3 Yan Chai Trophy Handicap, gradually building momentum with a combination of force and finesse to lead in the final strides, while even better was to follow when stablemate Ugly Warrior took his career record to five wins from six AWT runs with a commanding success in the Tsuen Lok Handicap.
Tsui described the winning rider as “on fire” as he sealed the first fourfold of his career, while Ho feels a combination of hard work and a summer trip to the UK based with leading Yorkshire trainer Mark Johnston are yielding their rewards this term.
“I try to work hard in every aspect of my job 24 hours a day in relation to diet, training, recovery and physio and I’m so pleased that the support and results have come my way so far this season,” he said.
“Ryan Moore gave me good advice about riding in the UK and Mr Johnston always stressed that it is important for jockeys to use their instinct to judge what pace suits a horse.
He added: “I’m sure that I’ve come back to Hong Kong with more confidence this season and I now have to keep the hard work going to make the most of this great start.”
Ho has long held Ugly Warrior in high regard and mentioned him as one who could even graduate to dirt races at the Dubai Carnival last season.