Milestone man Vincent Ho ready to ‘chase the next 400’ as Golden Sixty trials sharply again
Milestone man Vincent Ho Chak-yiu is ready to “chase the next 400” after becoming just the fourth local Hong Kong jockey to reach a quadruple century of winners in the professional era at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Ho joined Tony Cruz, Howard Cheng Yue-tin and Matthew Chadwick in reaching the mark and is confident he can immediately get down to adding to his tally at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
Ho has rides in eight of the nine races at the inflated midweek card and identified the progressive Fa Fa as one galloper he has high expectations of after booting him to a first-up victory as the $1.80 favourite at the second Valley meeting of the season.
The Frankie Lor Fu-chuen-trained four-year-old is chasing a hat-trick of wins in the Class Three Telecom Fighters Handicap (1,650m) and has banked three wins from seven starts to begin his career.
Ho has partnered the gelding to all of those victories and while they have all come at the extended Valley mile, the jockey is confident his charge is not a one-trick pony.
“I think he’s got a good chance on Wednesday but I don’t think he will only handle 1,650m, I think even at 1,800m he will be fine. He’s big and strong,” Ho said.
The 31-year-old opted to ride Fa Fa ahead of Meaningful Star after also partnering Francis Lui Kin-wai’s Irish import to victory last month, with Joao Moreira taking his place.
“If I could have got on both it would have been great because they both have a chance,” Ho said.
Among the other chances are Surrealism and Piano Solo, who carries just 116 pounds rising in class after breaking his Hong Kong maiden recently.
Surrealism finished a neck behind Fa Fa last start and went up four points in the ratings for his troubles, just one less than the winner’s five, but will be four pounds better off at the weights after jockey Luke Ferraris weighed in three pounds overweight last time.
Ho is also looking forward to seeing how Hurry Hurry Gain performs in the Class Three Speed Vision Handicap (1,200m) after his return was delayed by last week’s typhoon-enforced cancellation, while Off The Reel and Happily Friends also carry over from the lost card.
Ho whet his appetite for the midweek meeting with a spin on reigning Horse of the Year Golden Sixty at Tuesday morning’s trials, with the four-time Group One winner doing it easily in his second trial of the preparation.
After settling at the back of the field over 1,200m on the all-weather track, Golden Sixty picked up nicely in the straight and breezed to a three-length win in a performance that suggests he’s on track for his return in next month’s Group Two Jockey Club Mile.
“He relaxed well early, travelled so nicely and once he hit the straight he stretched out nicely so I’m really happy with him,” Ho said.
“He’s still for sure not even 80 per cent fit, I would say around 70 per cent, but once he jumped out of the gates he knew his job.
“Generally I’m happy with how he’s performing at the moment and after this trial we’ll still probably give him one more and make sure he’s ready for December.
“Most of the horses in [the Jockey Club Mile] will have already had at least one or two runs so they will have the race fitness, so we just have to make sure Golden Sixty is ready for that.”
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