While he may have missed his Mom’s famous Christmas lunch on Wednesday, Grant van Niekerk nailed a treble in the last at Happy Valley on Thursday when the Danny Shum-trained Winning Method made just about all to win the Class 3 Kap Shui Mun Handicap (1200m).
Grant went almost a month without a win before hitting the mark again at Sha Tin last Saturday.
“My suspension just stopped my momentum and when that happens you don’t really get your rides back but I’m glad I’m getting good support again,” he said.
“If you get your chance here you have to make the most of what you get and do your best. It’s hard to keep your rides here and it’s very hard to get a winner on the day so to get three, I’m very happy.”
He has ridden 15 winners at a win strike-rate of 10% for stakes of HK$ 22 549 455 – that’s the equivalent of R40 931 839 at current rates of exchange.
Earlier, Clement Legend once again exhibited his liking for 2200m around Happy Valley and Van Niekerk benefitted. The game Shum-trained five-year-old dug deep to bag his fourth career win at the course and distance in the Class 3 Shan Tseng Handicap.
Van Niekerk partnered the John Moore-trained G Unit to success in the Class 4 Ting Kau Handicap (1000m).
The Peter Ho-trained Magnificent put daylight on his rivals in the Class 3 Ma Wan Handicap (1650m), streaking down the home stretch to give champion jockey Zac Purton his 44th win in his pursuit of premiership leader Joao Moreira.
The Class 5 opener, the Yau Kom Tau Handicap (1200m), went to 25/1 shot Lightning Missile (117lb) who fended off the 23/1 chance Show Mission (117lb) by a neck. Vincent Ho sealed his 21st win for the term atop the Manfred Man-trained victor.
Hong Kong racing continues at Sha Tin on Sunday, 29 December.