Lui strikes with early-season treble
Diamond Mysterious was also the middle leg of a Lui treble, the Lonhro gelding recording his first win since May 2015 in the Class 4 Sunbird Handicap (1400m). The trainer credited a better gate for allowing the Brazilian rider to settle the six-year-old closer in the run, which proved a masterstroke when the horse eeked out a head victory over Experto Crede.
“Recently, he has been drawing badly and so he has been getting a long way back,” Lui said. “Even last start, when he did get a better barrier, he was squeezed out and ended up a long way from them. I discussed it with Joao and he said he thought he would be midfield, but I didn’t expect him to be in the box seat! I was glad he was though, and that is what makes him so good – he was able to get the horse into that spot.”
Lui often begins the season quickly, his last two three-timers coming on 1 October 2016 and 23 September 2015, and this term proved no different as he sent out three winners from four starters on Saturday.
Mordicus began the card with a powerful victory under Zac Purton in the Class 4 Cuckoo Handicap (1200m), leading all the way before easing to a three-length score.
“I am happy he managed to win a race,” Lui said. “He’s had all sorts of issues and it hasn’t been straightforward, but I think he has needed time and he looks like he has turned a corner. Hopefully he can carry on now, I think he can win in Class 3 for sure if he is right.”
Marvel Tribe completed the three-timer for Lui, giving Keith Yeung his first win for the season when he narrowly prevailed in the Class 3 Swallow Handicap (1200m).
“That was a tough win, and I think it shows how well he has come back this season,” the trainer said. “He’s an older horse now so he’s not getting any better, but in condition, he has been a different horse after the summer. He will have to tackle Class 2 company now and he’s always found it a bit tough in the past, but this will probably be his last chance to get a win up there.”
Elsewhere on the card, jockey Karis Teetan began his strong start to the season with a win aboard David Ferraris-trained London Master in the Class 4 Hwamei Handicap (1000m), while Vincent Ho also snared his first victory this term aboard Caspar Fownes’ Invisible in the Class 5 Magpie Handicap (1400m).
The last race went to the John Moore-Tommy Berry partnership with quirky galloper Green Card holding on to take the Class 3 Woodpecker Handicap (1400m).
Racing returns to Happy Valley on Wednesday night (20 September), with the first race scheduled for 7.15pm.