Tony Millard likes his Saturday racing, particularly when it falls in late September.
The South African handler bagged a treble at the corresponding fixture last year; he opened his season’s tally with a brace during this month in 2017; and today (21 September) he walked off with a double, thanks to Fun Times’ rolling win in race three and Meridian Genius’ thrilling battle to nail the afternoon’s second contest.
The latter win, in the Class 4 Kam Tin Handicap (1000m), pitted Hong Kong’s “big two” riders Joao Moreira and Zac Purton head-to-head in a pulsating drive to the line. The rivals came together at the 200m mark: Victory Power (126lb) and Purton leaning away from the outside rail, Moreira and Meridian Genius (131lb) edging from their inner.
Meridian Genius nicked it by a nose for his first win at start seven. Victory Power, the 2.8 favourite and now with 18 runs behind him, still awaits his breakthrough win. The victor was having his first start since June.
“I hadn’t pushed him and he showed me enough at home to be able to bring him to the track without barrier trialling him, so one would hope there would be that kind of improvement going forward,” Millard said of the four-year-old, grey.