Me Tsui took training honours with a double, courtesy of Masterwork and Happy Tango.
Masterwork broke through at his 12th start under Vincent Ho with success in the Class 5 Clear Water Bay Handicap (1200m) before Karis Teetan sealed Tsui’s brace in the second section of the Class 4 Hap Mun Bay Handicap (1200m).
Jimmy Ting’s Mission Bravo made it two in a row on the dirt and maintained Luke Ferraris’ 100 percent record atop the Smart Missile gelding with victory in the Class 4 Cheung Sha Handicap (1800m).
“It was a good ride by Luke and the horse likes the dirt,” Ting said. “We’ll keep him on the dirt and see if he can do it again.”
Underlining the authority of the performance, Mission Bravo set a new class record of 1m 47.45s.
Veteran Crown Avenue posted his eighth victory at his 78th start, sprinting hard late under Blake Shinn to claim the Class 5 Cafeteria Handicap (1650m) and leaving trainer Dennis Yip with a dilemma.
“He’s nine-years-old and he’s had eight wins already, so let’s see the handicap. I will talk to the owners and see what they think because early in the season we decided if this horse gets one win, we will retire him.
“So, in this moment, I’ve yet to talk to the owners, so we’ll see.”
Now in his sixth season in Hong Kong, the Hard Spun gelding – who won as a three-year-old as Prince Of Spin for David Hayes and Tom Dabernig at Pakenham, Australia in 2016 – boosted his prizemoney to just shy of HK$7 million.
Yip registered a race-to-race double when Flying Dragon corrected a rare anomaly in Purton’s 2021/22 performance by presenting the championship-leading jockey with his first win of the term on the dirt with victory in the second section of the Class 4 Hap Mun Bay Handicap (1200m).
Winless in 32 previous rides on the dirt this campaign, Purton was at his tactical peak with a crafty ride on the Per Incanto gelding.
“Zac rode the horse very well,” Yip said. “There was a lot of speed on and Zac held the inside and didn’t let them cross them because, if they had, they would have come back onto him when they got tired.”
Hong Kong racing continues at Sha Tin on Sunday (3 April) with the G2 Sprint Cup (1200m) and the G2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m).