Doctor Geoff scooted away with the G3 January Cup Handicap (1800m) at Happy Valley tonight (Wednesday, 8 January) to set up a potentially big month for connections.
Francis Lui has emerged as a force in the trainer’s title race this season, aided by the ascendant Vincent Ho who has guided 11 of the stable’s 25 winners so far; the pair linked-up with owner Huang Kai Wen for tonight’s feature, with all three men anticipating big results in the upcoming Four-Year-Old Classic Series.
Lui also trains Huang’s rising star More Than This heading into the Series’ first leg, the Hong Kong Classic Mile on 27 January, in which Ho is slated to ride Lui’s other exciting young talent, Golden Sixty. Huang, who also has Playa Del Puente as a Classic Series candidate, is best known for his G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint victor Peniaphobia.
But this evening the spotlight fell on Doctor Geoff, sixth in the final two legs of the 2018 Classic Series, and shaping as something of a specialist these days over the Valley’s 1800m.
“He likes the track, he likes the distance and he had a light weight,” Lui said after the six-year-old had pocketed a third win at the track and trip.
“He enjoys it here because sometimes he’s nervous but when he comes here he’s calmer. The short straight here also seems to suit him better.”