Winding back the clock almost a decade, Michael Chang lodged his first treble in nine years with a crucial three-timer at Sha Tin on Sunday (26 March) to claim training honours on a stellar afternoon for the veteran.
Marking the first time since 13 April, 2014 when he combined with Olivier Doleuze aboard Sunshine Kid and Prince Of Sunshine and Douglas Whyte on Boy Oh Boy, 61-year-old Chang today led in Lost Child, Forever Folks and Ching with a statement performance.
The first Hong Kong handler to train a winner in the United States in 2014 when Rich Tapestry won the G1 Santa Anita Championship, Chang has also tasted success in Dubai, but with only 30 horses currently in his stable, he has struggled since hitting a career-high of 40 wins in the 2012/13 season.
Boosting his tally to 13 wins for the season, Chang was elated with the haul.
“Honestly, before the races I was confident my horses would run well,” Chang said. “Lost Child and Ching, I was confident about. I expected them to run well and I got three winners today, so I’m very happy. Some of these horses are young, up-and-coming with some potential.
“It is important (to have a treble) but, honestly, I’m always confident in myself – if I train a good horse, I’m a good trainer. I can win a race in America because the horse was good enough and I am good enough. If the horse is not good enough, what can you do?”
Chang’s spree started when Hugh Bowman drove Lost Child to a neck margin over Ariel in the Class 4 New Asia Alumni Handicap (1400m), prompting the trainer to predict rapid development.
“I think this horse has a bit of ability, smart horse – he learns quick,” Chang said of the Swiss Ace three-year-old. “Probably, he will improve another one or two lengths.