Great Start For Wayne Smith

Former Champion jockey Wayne Smith is off and running in his new role as a trainer after his exciting debut runner Star Of Yiu Cheung pulled out all stops to give him his first winner in Saturdays Class 4 & 5 over 1200 metres.

Ridden by Horace Lam, Star Of Yiu Cheung  showed great speed away from the gates to lead on the bridle and was rated to perfection in front by Lam; hot on his tail was the highly fancied Beauty Wink, a horse that arrived with a big boom on him after two super trail wins at Cranbourne in Victoria.

STAR OF YIU CHEUNG Picture: Macau Jockey Club

Beauty Wink under Ruan Maia came to win the race at the one fifty but Star Of Yiu Cheung under strong riding by Lam just kept finding, and hit the line with a neck to spare over Beauty Wink with a huge space back to the third placed Luen On Success (Fausto Henrique).

Wayne Smith has only had five runners to date, and the win by Star Of Yiu Cheung was the result of a perfectly planned preparation by Smith, who despite being licensed since the beginning of this season, has resisted the urge to run any of his horses early preferring to give them all plenty of time.

Jockey : Wayne Smith
Jockey : Wayne Smith Picture: Macau Jockey Club

"Well this is fantastic result to get a winner so early. I came racing today with three live chances and they've all ran well but I was very confident about Star Of Yiu Cheung even with the big wraps on Beauty Wink."

"This horse really impressed me from the first day he arrived at the yard in July; he has just blossomed into a lovely big horse with a lot of natural talent. He has that presence about that all good horses do."

"I think he will be a horse that gets over ground later on. Today I put the visor on him to sharpen him up for the 1200 metres. Smith added.

Smith revealed that Aquis Farm CEO Shane McGrath was instrumental in getting Star Of Yiu Cheung to his yard and paid homage to the Aquis group for the work done with the horse prior to him coming to Macau.

"Shane recommended both Star Of Yiu Cheung and Chi Chai Sin Sang as two nice horses to start my career so I'm truly grateful to Shane and Aquis."

"I've got a great bunch of owners in the stable and so grateful for their support."

Star Of Yiu Cheung is a son of Casino Prince (Aus) and his run time of 1.08.8 for the 1200 metres was close to a Class 1 time for the day. Both the first and second horses are destined for bigger things given their wonderful performances on Saturday.

Beauty Wink was originally destined for Hong Kong after his good trial form in Australia, but was found to be blind in the offside eye. Macau is one of the few jurisdictions worldwide that accepts one eyed horses for racing.

For Wayne Smith a career as a trainer is the next chapter to what has been a stellar career as a top international jockey that took him right around the world.

Irishman Smith got the travel bug as a youngster when he won the Derrinstown Champion Apprentice Series.  A time spent with Colin Hayes at Lindsey Park followed that with Smith describing it as a fabulous learning experience that helped shape his career, before making Dubai his main base for 19 years.

Smith went onto be Champion jockey in Dubai with one of his biggest victories the 2003 UAE Derby on Victory Moon for trainer Mike De Kock.  Remaining in the top brackets of jockeys in Dubai Smith also rode with success in the USA, France, Hong Kong, Germany, Qatar and Bahrain.

Whilst unsure of exactly how may career winners that he posted, the records show the 1000 win mark was passed some years ago, and he has more than 30 Group 1 winners worldwide.

Since 2003 Wayne Smith has been a regular visitor to Macau and has always been one of the most popular riders in the enclave. It was these yearly visits to Macau that bought him in contact with many prominent owners who are now his chief supporters in his new role.

Brazilian Dayversom Barros has wasted no time in making his mark in Macau racing and another double on Saturday see's him the early leader in the Jockeys standings, with nine winners for the new season.

Barros produced a fine ride on the Tony Fung prepared Lover Paradise to win the Class 1 & 2 over 1500 metres.

Lover Paradise enjoyed the run of the race under Barros third the rail before sprinting between runners on straightening; bursting to the lead the son of Canford Cliffs (Ire) had enough in hand to hold off the even money race favorite Éclair Lightning on the wire to win by a three quarters of a length.

Barros made it a double with a lovely rated front running ride in the last of the day the Class 4 over 1800 metres on the Victor Chan trained Knows It All.

Knows It All is another former Aquis Farm horse that is going great guns here in the enclave, with for wins from only six runs from 1050 metres (sand) to 1800 metres (turf).

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