Currie Hot In Hong Kong

Sha Tin continues on Thursday 3 February

Luke Currie made the perfect start to his Hong Kong career with success on his first ride when the Australian triumphed on David Hayes-trained Miracle Victory in the Class 4 Tathong Channel Handicap at Sha Tin on Sunday.

“I spent the first three weeks sitting in quarantine and then the last two days have been a real whirlwind, I haven’t stopped so it’s great to get a winner on the board so soon,” Currie, 40, said.

A great start for Luke Currie (Pic – HKJC)

Currie and compatriot Daniel Moor emerged from three weeks of hotel quarantine on Friday in preparation for Sunday’s races.

Hayes said: “It’s a great start, isn’t it? He put the horse in a great spot. No matter what their reputation is, Hong Kong is a fresh start and they judge you on what you do. So, it’s really good for him (Currie) to showcase his riding and win his first race.

“This horse, we had to geld and we’ve waited all year and the owners have been very patient and I think he beat a pretty good field today – might be a horse to keep following.”

Hayes notched a race-to-race double when Trader cruised home under Jerry Chau in the Class 4 Tai Tam Bay Handicap (1200m, dirt).

“He’s been racing well all season – I think he’s had three placings and one win. He was good today because I knew that my old horse (Super Axiom) would lead – he’s the fastest horse in Hong Kong – and I told Jerry ‘Don’t panic if he’s three lengths in front because he sees a ghost at the last 50 metres’ – and he did.”

Trainer David Hayes (Pic – HKJC)

Alfred Chan grabbed the finale aboard the Caspar Fownes-trained Kurpany in the Class 2 Aldrich Bay Handicap (1200m, dirt), a victory which also gave Fownes a double after his triumph in the G3 Centenary Vase Handicap (1800m) with Zebrowski under Matthew Poon.

Alexis Badel ended January as he started the month – with a double – after combining with Benno Yung with Voyage Star to land the Class 4 Siu Sai Wan Handicap (1400m) before partnering Chris So’s Young Victory to victory in the Class 5 Shau Kei Wan Handicap (1400m).

John Size edged to within a win – 42-41 – of Frankie Lor in the trainers’ championship as Joao Moreira extended his lead over Zac Purton – 71-56 – in the jockeys’ contest after Leading Fortune prevailed in the Class 4 Sai Wan Ho Handicap (1600m).

The 11-time champion trainer continued his successful association with another Brazilian when Vagner Borges delivered on Crossford in the Class 3 Loves Only You Handicap (1600m). Moreira has provided 20 of Size’s wins for season; Borges is responsible for 12.

Runner-up in three of the first five races, Karis Teetan ended an exasperating run with success aboard Majestic Star in the Class 3 Chai Wan Handicap (1200m) for Danny Shum in what turned out to be a portent of greater things to come on the programme for the trainer and jockey.

  • Hong Kong racing continues at Sha Tin on Thursday 3 February with the Chinese New Year meeting featuring the Class 1 Chinese New Year Cup Handicap.

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