Millard’s Patience Pays Off

Taking it one step at a time

Progressive four-year-old C P Brave rewarded Tony Millard’s patience at Sha Tin on Sunday, surging home after a moment of uncertainty in the straight to take out the Class Two Woodpecker Handicap in convincing fashion.

Tony Millard, who was marking his third winner of the new season, told the Sporting Post that CP Brave arrived in Hong Kong quite late last season and typically took a bit of time to acclimatise.

“However he showed us from the beginning that he was above average. He looks a progressive type and an exciting prospect when we step him up in trip. He could be anything but going to take it just one step at a time,” said the South African conditioner.

Tony Millard – worth following C P Brave (Pic- HKJC)

The South China Morning Post reports that after meeting nothing but backsides late aboard another hot favourite Leap Of Faith earlier in the card, jockey Joao Moreira must have thought history was repeating as he searched for a run 400m from home aboard  C P Brave.

But the gap appeared up the inside of leader Highland Fortune for the day’s best-backed runner and he powered home to ring up his first Hong Kong victory at start four.

“Good horses, they win – I couldn’t be happier,” Millard said. “He’s a nice horse, we could have run him at the end of last season but he just wasn’t doing well enough and the heat had got to him.

“So we just backed off, sometimes you’ve got to do the right thing and that was the right thing to do at the time. It was very nice and Joao is very happy with this horse.”

After beginning his Hong Kong career off a mark of 76 following two wins from four starts in Britain, C P Brave worked his way into Class Two on the back of two close placings and carried just 116 pounds from the inside gate.

“He’s certainly come along well and I think he can improve – he’s going to need to improve because in Class Two there’s some pretty good horses and he got all the advantages because he had the draw and the weight. But a win is a win and we’ve got to enjoy it and move forward,” Millard said, suggesting he will endeavour to step his charge up in trip in time.

Moreira, who positioned C P Brave in the box seat from barrier one in his first run of the season, was impressed with the feeling he got in his first ride aboard the galloper.



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