Crispy Biscuit , a nice-looking son of Written Tycoon, had been haunted by outside gates in most of his runs in the enclave against the same company; however, it was a different story on Saturday, with the five-year-old coming up with the pole position for the first time on the grass.
Ridden by Brazilian Faust Henrique, Crispy Biscuit flew the gates and led comfortably and kept running strongly right to the line to hold off Loxwood (Masa Tanaka), who was his chaser for the entire race, with Gon Sai Baau (Luis Corrales) close up in third. The even money favorite Hostwin Saturn (Peter Ho), was running on strongly late for fourth spot.
The former Australian galloper has been a wonderful buy for owner Mr. Law Hiu Sing, with now four wins and three placings from his 13 runs in Macau, and over $1million HKD in prize money.
Bred by Bene Racing and Breeding at Warwick in Queensland, Crispy Biscuit was passed in as a yearling at the 2017 Magic Millions National Yearling Sales, after failing to meet the reserve of $60,000. Purchased privately he was named Shaken Not Stirred, and won two races at Ipswich when raced by Matthew Park and Stallion Racing, which is managed by former Hong Kong racecaller David Raphael.
Shaken Not Stirred showed dazzling speed in his Australian races, but was inclined to get weak at the finish. Time is a wonderful thing for a racehorse, and the gelding has matured into a much stronger and more relaxed individual, that is rarely out of the frame in the Class 1 sprints in Macau.
His run time of 1.07.6 for the 1200 metres snipped .01 off the 2017 Class record set by Wonder Mossman, who arguably Macau's best ever racehorse. Nowadays Crispy Biscuit would not be out of place in Class 2 or at least Class 3 in Hong Kong.
A maiden win in a 0 to 45 Handicap may not be the race you would be expecting a Derby contender to emerge from. That said Saturday's winner Snow Storm looks to have the necessary attributes to reach for much higher things, after overcoming a checkered passage over the last 150 metres to win decisively under Eric Cheung.
Prepared by master conditioner Joe Lau, Snow Storm enjoyed a good run in transit until he found himself locked away behind a wall of horses in the home stretch. Cheung was able to switch course late and dart across the back of runners to fly along the inside for a good win.
Lau has earned the name of Macau's Derby Wizard having won four of the last six Derby's, the most recent being Sacred Magnate last year who followed on from Sacred Capital (2019), Sacred Man (2017) and The Alfonso (2015).
Snow Storm has a long way to go to be even considered a Derby contender, but appears to have the right make up. He is quite a decent type by Mossman (Aus) who won up to 2040 metres in the AAMI Vase at Moonee Valley; and he is out of the Shinko King (Ire) mare Royal Dominance who only raced three times winning a 1400 metres Maiden at Ellerslie, and placing third in the Group 2 NZB Royal Stakes over 2000 metres again at Ellerslie.
The four-year-old gelding has the necessary gate speed to take up a handy spot in the run, and a good turn of foot when called upon.
"He has not been an easy horse train, and hopefully there is more the come from him in the future." Joe Lau said after the win.
When pressed about a path to the Derby the usually reserved Lau had just this to say. "Well, it looks like it, we will see when I step him up."
Jockey Eric Cheung described the horse as, "a higher-class horse but still very green."
Eric Cheung made it a double for the afternoon with a narrow win on King Of Glamour in the Class 3 over 1500 metres for trainer Stanley Chin.
King Of Glamour enjoyed the perfect run under Cheung from gate three, and came with a late surge to grab Hostwin Shadow (Fausto Henrique) and win by a head, with race favorite Winnie Star in third.
The win capped of another nice weekend for Cheung who also won on City Lucky Star on Friday night for trainer Tony Fung in the Class 4 & 5 over 1510 metres.
City Lucky Star a nicely bred son of Redoute's Choice, is a former Hong Kong galloper that failed to flatter in 11 runs there as Dr Lucky Star, before being sent to Macau via New Zealand. Friday night's win made it two wins from two starts in Macau, and the manner in which he won suggests, he will have no trouble winning a few more now that he has found his niche on the sand.
Arriba Arriba is another Hong Kong reject that has found a new lease of life in the enclave, with another dashing win in Class 3 on Friday night under Frenchman Stephane Ladjadj.
Prepared by Allen Tam, Arriba Arriba despite being carted the best part of eight or nine deep on the corner by the leader Destiny Choice, recovered quicky to swoop down the outside and defeat race favorite Hostwin Poseidon (Luis Corrales), with Casino Mok (Masa Tanaka) in third.
Arriba Arriba had only one run in Hong Kong where he finished well back in Class 4 over the straight 1000 metres at Sha Tin. The gelding was found to have bled and he was shipped back to New Zealand where after a six-month spell he was sent to Macau.
A good strong looking son of multiple group winner Denman (Aus), Arriba Arriba has won four of his five starts in Macau, with two on the turf and two on the sand, and is well over the half million-dollar mark in prize money.