Right Choice edged an enthralling duel for the Kowloon Cricket Club Centenary Cup Handicap (1600m) at Sha Tin this afternoon (Sunday, 24 March) to sweeten what jockey Silvestre de Sousa felt was a wrong decision one race prior.
The Brazilian was all but forced to lead the Class 2 feature race on the talented four-year-old, a move that almost backfired.
“The way the race was run wasn’t suitable for him, it was such a slow pace and with the weight he carried (117lb) I felt the best position would be where he was in front, so he’d be in the right place at the right time, but he was never happy to be there doing the work,” the rider said.
Fellow Brazilian Joao Moreira pressured the leader aboard top-weight Time To Celebrate (133lb), never allowing De Sousa’s mount to relax. And, when De Sousa had to ask questions of Right Choice entering the home straight, Moreira was there to pounce.
Time To Celebrate edged the lead with 400m to race and looked momentarily as though he had the 1.9 favourite’s measure. But De Sousa was in no mood for capitulation; a powerful drive galvanized Right Choice; the New Zealand-bred rallied to regain the lead at the 200m mark and then held on as the brave Time To Celebrate lunged again at the line.