Cheung Bounces Back with Four

Eric Cheung has shown his not going down without a fight in his quest for the Jockeys’ Championship, by booting home four winners over the weekend’s racing, to take him within 10 wins of premiership leader Luis Corrales.

Cheung after going winless the week prior, was in fine form for the weekend and opened his account with a win on the Victor Chan trained Pride Sprint , in the Class 5 & 6 over 1510 metres on Friday night.

SACRED MAGNATE winning the THE POKFULAM Picture: Macau Jockey Club

The win gave Cheung his 105th race winner therefore losing his three pounds claim, at the end of Friday night's racing.

The former Hong Kong reject City Lucky Star made three wins from three starts in Macau, when he dug deep under Cheung after a wide trip, to get up in the last few bounds to beat the stablemate Hostwin Prosperits, in the Class 4 over 1510 metres.

SMART ARROW winning the THE SHEK O Picture: Macau Jockey Club

Prepared by Tony Fung, City Lucky Star  is nicely bred being by Redoute's Choice out of Fashion Note  (Singspiel).  An A$90,000 purchase at the Inglis 2017 Easter Yearling Sales, the colt trialed twice in country New South Wales at Tamworth and Quirindi, managing a second place at the latter. 

His time though in Hong Kong was unremarkable, with 11 starts and no placings, he did however manage to get within three and a quarter lengths of them in Class 5 over 1650 metres, on the all-weather track at Sha Tin.  Now a five-year-old, City Lucky Star has strengthened up and evidenced by Saturday's win, will have no problems handling the rise to Class 3

GLOBAL JUSTICE winning the THE SHAUKEIWAN (DIV.2) Picture: Macau Jockey Club

On Saturday Cheung was quick to strike again with a win in race two for trainer Geoff Allendorf on Global Justice , in the Class 3 & 4 over 1500 metres, giving the gelding back-to-back wins.

Last year's Derby winner Sacred Magnate rounded out Cheung's weekend with a win on the Joe Lau prepared galloper in the Class 1 & 2 over 1500 metres.

Sacred Magnate  was coming off a narrow defeat at the unsuitable 1200 metres behind Crispy Biscuit, and had been a certainty beaten when second behind Top Mountainlegend back in April over 1500 metres, after running into a traffic jam in the straight, and not finding clear running until the race was all over.

Saturday's race was run in a downpour with the heavens opening up as the field broke from the gates; however, there were no concerns in the run with Cheung putting the son of Foxwedge (Aus) into a perfect spot in fourth one out and one back, before bursting down the centre of the track to hit the lead at the one fifty mark. Whilst not completely at home in the wet conditions, his class got him through to beat Mountain Tiger (Luis Corrales), with Top Mountainlegend (Roger Yu) in third.

With Corrales coming off a fantastic 22-win spree in two months to set up a commanding lead, Cheung will need nothing short of a miracle to reel him in; that said Corrales went winless for the weekend, so if Cheung could produce another couple of big days he could stay in the race.

As it stands, Corrales is in a very enviable position, with a ten-win lead and just 16 race days to go before the end of the season.

The successful combination of Wayne Smith and Shogo Nakano were back in the winner's circle Saturday, with the promising Smart Arrow in the Class 4 over 1200 metres.

Having his first run for Smith, Smart Arrow  was given a gem of a ride by Nakano midfield against the rail, before weaving between runners and bursting out of the pack late to win handsomely.

Smart Arrow a nice-looking son of Smart Missile (Aus) got home over the top of the speedy Small Waterfall  (Masa Tanaka), with Sport General (Breinell Yamzon) in third.

Smart Arrow was formerly with Tony Fung, and had won two on the sand from his first three runs in the enclave before going amiss. The gelding would often get very worked up prior to his races, and proved costly for punters on a few occasions after being sent out as favorite.

"He came to me at the end of April after he was beaten on the sand. He did have some soreness issues in front, so it took a little while to get him right." Smith said.

"I took the blinkers off and put a hood on him for trackwork; I ride a lot of my own work so I was able to put in plenty of time on him riding him myself. He has not put a foot wrong and has turned into an absolute gentleman in trackwork."

"He was even perfect at the gates when we gave him a jump out 10 days back, and that used to be a big problem for him the gates."

It was a much more layback Smart Arrow on Saturday with blinkers off and sporting side winkers for the first time.  He relaxed in the run and found the line strongly.

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