Dragon Pride chases more Happy Valley success as Benno Yung thrives with stable transfers
As a punter it’s always good to know where you stand with certain trainers and Benno Yung Tin-pang is the epitome of consistency.
Since being awarded a training licence in advance of the 2013-14 season, Yung has never finished with fewer than 24 winners, with his high of 37 victories coming in his debut campaign.
But Yung is likely to threaten his record tally this season with the success of Millennium Falcon at Sha Tin on February 20 taking him to 24 winners already this term.
Sitting in a lofty seventh in the trainers’ championship above the likes of Ricky Yiu Poon-fai and last season’s champion trainer Caspar Fownes, Yung is having a good time of things and if you’re an owner of a horse struggling in another yard, you could do worse than make a switch to his in-form stable.
Of Yung’s 24 winners this season, seven have been provided by horses who had previously competed for other trainers before joining him at the start of this campaign, while Texas Moon also won on his debut.
Millennium Falcon (twice), Dragon Pride (twice), Run Des Run, Ice Legend and Multimore are the horses to have saluted for Yung after making a preseason switch and the trainer is fully aware these additions have helped him to make a big impact this season.
“I’m very happy with what the team is doing, especially the transfers – they are doing very well,” Yung said.
“I have a very professional staff and with horses that have had problems, I like to fix them and get them back to their best racing ability.
“We’re not doing anything much different this season, but it’s just having better luck and some of the transfers have really helped.”
Yung will be hoping to add to this season’s tally at Happy Valley on Wednesday night and a couple of improved newcomers to his yard hold significant claims of bolstering their strong recent form.
Dragon Pride had not finished closer than seventh in nine starts split between Tony Millard and David Hayes before joining Yung ahead of this season, but his new trainer has clearly unlocked all of his latent ability.
Starting from a basement mark of 22, Dragon Pride has saluted twice in four starts in Class Five company this season and has the assistance of Zac Purton in the saddle as he attempts to follow up a recent course-and-distance win.
He takes in the Class Five Wuhu Handicap (1,650m) and in a race filled with largely inconsistent types, few would bet against him racking up his third win of the season.
Ice Legend had already been through the hands of Fownes and David Hall before making his way to Yung and he took huge improvement from his stable debut to win at odds of $14 on his second start of the season.
A decent fifth from a bad draw last time, Ice Legend runs in the second section of the Class Four Chatham Handicap (1,200m) at the Valley and Jerry Chau Chun-lok is due to claim a valuable three pounds off his back, but the pair look to have a tough task against debut winner Gallant Waking and the improving Perfect Peach.
Happy Jai Jai is another who looks to be back on an upward curve for Yung. He made just one start for the trainer at the end of last season after transferring from David Hayes and has proved a revelation in his past two starts.
Back-to-back wins over 1,650m at the Valley, including by four and a quarter lengths last time, has resulted in connections choosing to return to Class Four company for the first time in more than a year in the Gillies Handicap (1,650m).
Despite that voluntary upgrade, the 40-rated galloper could hardly be in better form and Joao Moreira is again on board.
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