Alexis Badel and Matthew Chadwick have laid down timely BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) markers with Happy Valley doubles ahead of Sunday’s (21 March) Classic at Sha Tin with Joao Moreira on the cusp of celebrating the showpiece meeting with his 100th victory of the season.
While Badel and Chadwick shared the Happy Valley spoils, Moreira was stranded on 99 winners for the season after the Caspar Fownes-trained Kurpany’s fighting victory in the Class 2 Chester Handicap (1200m) – a triumph which saw the Irish import collect a HK$1 million High Achievement Bonus for annexing a Class 2 contest before turning five.
With 33 meetings left in the 2020/21 season, Moreira could potentially challenge his own record of 170 wins, a milestone he set in 2016/17.
Moreira will partner Sky Darci in Sunday’s Derby for Fownes, who regained the outright lead in the trainers’ championship with a double to hold sway 53-51 over John Size.
Badel followed last Saturday’s Sha Tin brace with victories at the city circuit on Ever Laugh, who claimed the Class 4 Renfrew Handicap (1650m) for Manfred Man, before completing a race-to-race double on David Hall’s Bundle Of Delight in the Class 4 Selkirk Handicap (1800m).
The Frenchman has 40 wins for the 2020/21 season, a milestone reached or passed so far by only four other jockeys – Moreira (99), Zac Purton (77), Karis Teetan (46) and Vincent Ho (40).