Ruan Maia Racing Away With Macau Premiership

A winning treble on August 3 has given Brazilian jockey Ruan Maia a massive 22 win advantage over his nearest rival Luis Corrales as he races towards his second Macau riding championship.

Jockey Ruan Maia
Jockey Ruan Maia Picture: Macau Jockey Club

With six race meetings remaining for the season Maia has ridden 68 winners and is already eight wins ahead of his tally of 60 for last season.

His strike rate figures stack up at a 21% win rate and a 52% place rate, slightly up on last year's score.

Corrales trails on 46 wins with Peter Ho currently in third spot on 42 wins. He has the next best strike rate of a 17% win and a 46% place percentage.

Maia has done a magnificent job since arriving in the enclave in December 2016.

After taking 19 rides to land his first winner, Maia did a superb job to end his first season on 31 wins and fourth spot in the 2016/17 premiership with Peter Ho champion of the year on 52 victories.

Maia's day got off to a quick start with a win on the promising Wittymaster in the 0 to 55 rated contest over 1200 metres.

Wittymaster,  a 4YO son of Duporth, made it two wins from four starts in Macau and is destined for better things given the manner of his two victories.

On a track that was rated heavy due to a typhoon hitting the enclave midweek, Wittymaster showed good speed from gate nine to cross and find himself box seated behind the speedy Chapman Way (Luis Corrales).

Once in the straight the gelding dug in stoutly and raced to the line with almost two lengths to spare over Chapman Way, with Lucky Pearl running on well for third.

Prior to coming to Macau Wittymaster was a much travelled horse.

A $A50,000 purchase at the 2017 Melbourne Premier sale, the youngster trialled at Warwick Farm for a moderate fifth out of six runners over 810 metres when prepared by Wendy Roche.

The gelding was then picked up for $A70,000 at the Ready 2 Race Sales in Sydney and shipped to New Zealand under the Magus Equine banner but never got to the trials.

After 12 months in New Zealand the then 3YO arrived in Macau and was placed in the care of trainer Danny Wong.

Maia was next seen to advantage on the Irish import Brilliant Debbie who produced a dazzling late finish to win the Class 2 Over 1500 metres.

In a great four horse finish Brilliant Debbie came from the tail of the field between runners to win by a head from River Control (Kevin Leung), with a half length back to the dead heaters Farson (Shogo Nakano) and Pearl Win Win (Stephane Ladjadj).

One Belt One Road from the Sio Cheong stable completed Maia's afternoon when he proved too strong for his opponents in the Class 3 & 4 over 1200 metres.

Luen On Success became the first progeny of the great Japanese sprinter Lord Kanaloa to win in Macau with a rails hugging ride from another Brazilian rider Fausto Henrique in the Class 5 & 6 over 1200 metres.

Prepared by Geoff Allendorf, Luen On Success is out of the Jungle Pocket mare Red Herencia and was purchased as a 2YO in Japan.

Arriving in Macau in October as a 3YO, the colt caught the eye on debut producing a big finish albeit racing very greenly, to come from the tail of the field to finish fourth beaten three quarters of a length back in April.

A couple of disappointing efforts followed with him being slowly away and not focused on racing however he again caught the eye with a good fourth behind Gem Glory over 1200 on July 12.

"He's just taken awhile to learn what the games all about," Allendorf said after Saturday's win.

"He was getting lost and racing greenly and today with a good draw in gate two I told Henrique not to leave the fence. He done a great job and kept him balanced up and saved ground, and the horse will learn a lot from that.

"I'll spell him now for six to eight weeks and then we'll take our time with him. I'm sure he will strengthen up into a nice horse."

Allendorf only prepares a smaller team of 20 horses and has only had 112 runners for the season, his lowest number of runners since he started training.

However he has still managed 15 winners and 30 placings giving him the best place strike of any trainer in the enclave at 40%.


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