Treble For Sio Cheong

A treble on Saturday afternoons all weather program has given former Champion trainer Sio Cheong a great kick start for the new season giving him five winners in the first three racedays.

Cheong got off the mark quickly with the Australian import Blackjack Mok (Luis Corrales) in the first of the day the 0 to 45 Special Conditions race over 1510 metres.

BLACKJACK MOK winning the THE OPAL
BLACKJACK MOK winning the THE OPAL Picture: Macau Jockey Club

Blackjack Mok  was put into the race out of the gates by Corrales to park on the back of pacemaker Heart Of Iu Cheong and was always traveling like the winner in the run.  Once heads were turned for home Corrales set the son of All To Hard (Aus) alight, and he let down nicely to race away for an easy three and a quarter lengths win over Epinart (Dayversom Barros), with favorite Star of City Gold (Massa Tanaka) winding up in third.

It was win number two in Macau for Blackjack Mok who originally commenced his racing career with Chris Waller at Rosehill.  An A$290,000 purchase at the 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sales, the gelding won a Wyong Maiden over 1600 metres racing as Devil's Luck, and placed on three other occasions from his 12 starts in Australia, before being exported to Macau.

CASINO MOK winning the THE DIAMOND
CASINO MOK winning the THE DIAMOND Picture: Macau Jockey Club

The gelding proved to be a bit of a handful early in Macau and on two separate occasions tried to savage another horse during a race.  Sio Cheong it appears now seems to have the gelding focused on racing. The ease of Saturday's win suggests more victories are in store and whilst his two wins in Macau have been on the sand, his talents are not just reserved to the surface with five placings in decent company on the turf.

Cheong didn't wait long to post his next winner Red Phoenix  who stormed home to victory via the rail in race two the Class 4 over 1350 metres under Frankie Choi.

ROSE HERO winning the THE EMERALD (Div 2)
ROSE HERO winning the THE EMERALD (Div 2) Picture: Macau Jockey Club

Red Phoenix was friendless in the betting jumping at odds of $341.000 for the win and picked up his maiden win in Macau after 14 starts. 

The five year old son of Sidereus (Aus) is a much traveled galloper having started his career with Toowoomba trainer Mark Webb, before ending up in North Queensland with Ricky Ludwig at Atherton.  The gelding proved to be consistent winning seven of his 26 runs and placing nine times collecting over A$200,000 in prize money along the way. 

HARVEST YEAR winning the THE JADE
HARVEST YEAR winning the THE JADE Picture: Macau Jockey Club

Casino Mok  rounded out Cheong's day with a brilliant all the way win in the Class 3 over 1350 metres under Eric Cheung.  In a daring ride Cheung set the seven year alight out of the gates to lead clearly and kept the tempo hard up front. The gelding maintained a strong gallop right down to the wire and held on to win by three quarters of a length over equal favorite Still So Cute (Roger Yu), with Éclair Mirage (Breinell Yamzon) in third.

The son of Casino Prince (Aus) commenced his racing career with Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott after being purchased for A$170,000 at the 2015 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sales. 

Racing in Australia as Lord Macau the gelding won three races from 24 starts, two of those over 1400 metres and another over 1600 metres and did place over 1900 metres at Canterbury. However in Macau the bay has really found his niche in the sprint races having won five races with four of those over the 1200 metres course.

Sio Cheong was crowned Champion Macau trainer in his debut season in 2015 – 2016 with 43 winners and was runner up to Stanley Chin on 41 winners to Chin's 52 victories in 2018 – 2019.  With some nice new recent additions Cheong could be a dominant force in the championship race this season.

Alan Tam another former champion trainer got himself on the scoreboard for the new season when he led in the last two winners on the card with Harvest Year  and Rose Hero .

Harvest Year a full brother to Tam's brilliant sprinter Fasuba got home in the Class 5 & 6 over 1050 metres with a last stride lunge under Roger Yu to beat Silent Height (Luis Corrales), in a deceiving finish that fooled many.   Harvest Year stretched late and got his head down right on the line to win by a nose to give him two wins from only four starts.

Harvest Year a son of Power (GB) is much in the same mould as Fasuba who has won nine races on the sand. Both are not big horses but are well put together solidly built types; both have slick gate speed and plenty of tenacity.    Whilst Harvest Year has a long way to go to reach the heights of Fasuba, his win on Saturday showed great determination to pull three lengths off Silent Height over the last one hundred metres.

Rose Hero is another very promising horse that Tam has in his yard judging by his win in the last of the day the Class 4 over 1510 metres.

Ridden by J B Hamel, Rose hero was always travelling well in the run before darting away at the two hundred for a big win.

A New Zealand import Rose Hero raced there as Autumn Flash where he won a 1400 metre maiden at Matamata on a good track, and placed on three more occasions whilst in the care of Lance O'Sullivan and Andrew Scott, so his future will not just be confined to the all weather surface.


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