Nakano in Brilliant Form with a Treble

Japanese rider Shogo Nakano enjoyed his best day ever in Macau with a brilliant three timer in winning the last three races on Saturday’s turf race program.

Ocean Warrior  from the Wayne Smith yard started the ball rolling for Nakano, when he gave the four-year-old son of Ocean Park (NZ) a perfect ride to take out the Class 4 over 1500 metres.

OCEAN WARRIOR winning the THE OTTAWA Picture: Macau Jockey Club

In a race where a few were keen to lead, Ocean Warrior a noted leader, was put into the trailing position behind Flash Shadow and Half Lamma Boss. Darting through along the rails at the two hundred, Ocean Warrior the smallest horse in the race sprinted away for an easy two and a quarter length win over Die Casting Alloy (Roger Yu), with City Hunter (Eric Cheung) a head away in third.

YIUCHEUNG CHAMPION winning the THE MONTREAL Picture: Macau Jockey Club

Nakano did not even have time to cool down when he struck again in the next race, the 2nd Division of the Class 5 & 6 0ver 1800 metres on the Ricky Choi prepared Fortune Wai Wai.

Fortune Wai Wai was first to break from the gates but Nakano soon surrendered the lead to get the run of the race in fourth spot. General Fu Hao (Fausto Henrique) had raced away with a big lead at the top of the straight, but Nakano's patience paid off, and Fortune Wai Wai produced a great turn of foot to power home right over the top of General Fu Hao to win easily.

The win by Fortune Wai Wai gave Ricky Choi a double for the afternoon having previously won the 1st Division of the Class 5 & 6 (1800m) with Fortune Lady, who scored an easy win under Filipino horseman Breinell Yamzon.

Shogo Nakano and Wayne Smith
Shogo Nakano and Wayne Smith Picture: Macau Jockey Club

Fortune Lady is one a handful of mares racing in the enclave, with another mare Wing Wo running into second spot in the event.

Yiucheung Champion another runner from the Wayne Smith yard, gave Nakano his treble for the afternoon with an all the way win in the last of the day the Class 3 over 1800 metres.

Nakano has earned a reputation in Macau as a front running wizard, and he gave the bold going son of Not A Single Doubt (Aus), a perfect ride to win from the track specialist Star Of City Gold (Masa Tanaka), with Northern Legend (Charlie Chan) close up in third.

FORTUNE LADY winning the THE TORONTO (Div 1)
FORTUNE LADY winning the THE TORONTO (Div 1) Picture: Macau Jockey Club

Wayne Smith has high hopes for Yiucheung Champion with his long-term goal being the Derby on July 10.

"He is a real nice horse and an ideal Derby type." Smith said.

"He came with a big wrap on him, but he has taken a while to settle into the place, but it's all coming together now.  Shogo gave both him and Ocean Warrior great rides."

Nakano, only returned to race riding on April 18 following a nasty fall from Dare To Be, who broke down whilst leading on the all-weather track.  Pride Sprint (Horace Lam) who was following cannoned into both horse and rider, with both jockeys lucky to escape serious injury.

TOP MOUNTAINLEGEND winning the THE HAMILTON Picture: Macau Jockey Club

Geoff Allendorf has a nice horse in the making with his Animal Kingdom (USA) gelding Beauty Life, who finished strongly to win Saturdays Maiden over 1200 metres.

Ridden by Luis Corrales, Beauty Life enjoyed a nice run back fourth the rail before hitting the line hard to beat Small Waterfall (Fausto Henrique) by three quarters of a length, with River Pentium (Roger Yu) back in third.

Beauty Life has been a real handful for Allendorf to train, but had turned the corner in his past three runs with three second placed efforts leading up to Saturday's race.

"He has been a very nervy high-strung horse to train. When I first got the horse, I rang Grahame Begg who had him in Victoria.  Grahame told me that he was very hot as a youngster, and he spent a lot of time with him away from track at the farm to settle him down." Allendorf said.

'He was very nervous when he arrived here, and was doing a lot wrong, but he has slowly come around. The good thing is that the Kwok Family from Hong Kong that race him, are very patient with their horses; that's allowed me to take my time with him. As a trainer I appreciate that very much."

"He is a nice horse and has plenty of ability, he just needs to relax and he is getting better with each run."

The four-year-old chestnut had put the writing on the wall with a good second to the smart Snow Storm in his start prior to Saturday. Snow Storm won impressively again following that run and is now emerging as serious Derby prospect.

Beauty Life a A$350,000 purchase at the 2018 Inglis Classic Yearling Sales, looks as though he will have no trouble getting a longer trip by the way he hit the line in his win.  He is the second of the Animal Kingdom's to race in Macau; the other being Fortune Paradise who has won three races in the enclave, two on the turf at 1500 and one on the sand at 1350 metres.

Top Mountainlegend  was rewarded for his consistency with a nice win under Eric Cheung in the Class 1 & 2 over 1500 metres on Saturday.

Cheung gave the son of Manhatten Rain (Aus) a gem of a ride from gate seven, finding the rail before they linked up to the course proper from the 1500 metres chute.  In race run at a good tempo Top Mountainlegend was well back in the run to the turn; Cheung peeled off the back of the pack on straightening and avoided the traffic jam up front, to sprint down the middle of the track for a decisive win over Sacred Magnate (Charlie Chan), with Pearl Green (Breinell Yamzon) in third.

It was win number five in Macau for the six-year-old who was originally prepared by Gary Moore in Australia, where he raced as Classic Jade winning a Newcastle maiden over 1400 and a BM58 at Goulburn over 1300.  His five wins in the enclave have taken him to $1.6 million HKD in prize money.

Race favorite Sacred Magnate was the best of good things beaten after being put into a great spot in the run early from gate eight. However, it all went wrong on straightening when the son of Mossman (Aus) was locked away behind a wall of runners that were going nowhere. The five-year-old gelding did not see daylight until the last 150 metres and did a great job to run second.

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