Bidding to claim his third Group 1 spoil of the season, Douglas Whyte limbered up for Russian Emperor’s G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) tilt at Sha Tin on Sunday (22 May) with a double in tandem with Lyle Hewitson at Happy Valley on Wednesday night (18 May).
Extending his flourishing partnership with fellow South African Hewitson, Whyte boosted his season’s tally to 37 with a brace through Smiling Face and Valiant Elegance as Francis Lui, Blake Shinn and Alexis Badel also celebrated doubles.
On a programme crowned by Keep You Warm’s stunning victory in the Class 2 Grass Island Handicap (1200m) for Lui and Zac Purton, Hewitson and Whyte posted their 14th win together this term with Valiant Elegance’s triumph in the first section of the Class 3 Kau Sai Chau Handicap (1200m).
The win was Hewitson’s 13th across the past eight meetings as Whyte praised his compatriot’s canny ride on Smiling Face, who scored his first win at his 30th attempt.
“He took the initiative to go back and take the rail and it shows what confidence can do,” Whyte said, “He rode a beautiful race, he eliminated a lot of problems and he made the winning move about 500 metres out by getting off the rail, he slid between horses and got the horse’s momentum up.”
The duo struck again with Valiant Elegance in the first section of the Class 3 Kau Sai Chau Handicap (1200m). Whyte is in the midst of his finest season since taking out his trainers’ licence, having struck twice at the elite level this campaign with Russian Emperor and Stronger.