Prior to the weekends racing the score was 41 to 37 in Chin's favor, after Sio Cheong had narrowed the margin from a 12-win lead in June to a four-win margin at the end of July.
It was a determined effort that put the Championship within his reach, however Cheong desperately needed another good weekend to narrow the gap more to be a real force. As it turned out Chin extended the margin by an extra win, taking the score now to 43 in Chin's favor to Cheong's 38.
Both trainers were well represented on the weekends racing with Chin sending out 13 runners to Cheong's 10 and for a fleeting moment on Friday, it was looking good for the underdog Cheong when his charge River Applause knocked off Chin's Vibrant City, in the first of the day the Class 4 & 5 over 1200 metres (turf) to narrow things down to a three-win lead.
River Applause saluted per medium of a lovely ride by Eric Cheung who wisely let the speed go to get the run of the race in fourth spot, before slipping along the inside on straightening and coming off the back the leader Golden Wins, for a late sprint to the post. Vibrant City (Tshwaro Appie) from the Chin stable was flying home late, and only went down by three quarters of a length at the wire for second, with Golden Wins (Dayversom Barros) paying the penalty for going too freely up front a short head away in third.
The euphoria however was short lived for Cheong, with Chin striking back in the very next race the Class 5 & 6 over 1050 metres (sand) with Sheng Li Star (Luis Corrales) beating the stablemate Black Pink (Eric Cheung).
Copartners Glory topped off the night for Chin with a gutsy win in the last the Class 5 & 6 over 1600 metres in the hands of (Tshwaro Appie), over Pearl Lucky (Breinell Yamzon).
Appie who hails from South Africa, gave the former Hong Kong galloper a superb rails hugging ride before stepping into the clear at the top of the straight, then showed great vigor over the concluding stages to score by a half length at the wire.
Cheong's runner in the race the Australian bred mare Wing Wo, was sent out an even money favorite in the event, but went amiss after leading to the hometurn and was eased out of the race by Dayversom Barros.
Both trainers are vying for their second Macau title with Cheong crowned Champion in his first year as trainer in the 2015 – 2016 with 43 winners. Chin's glory came in the 2018 – 2019 season with Cheong his runner up at a score of 52 to 41.
Looking at the four remaining racedays the numbers will favor Chin. Not just in stable strength with his yard of 35 horses as opposed to Cheong's 20, but in the available races to suit their runners and the overall quality of the horses for those rated races.
With the bulk of races programmed for horses rated from 70 down Chin's numbers are superior entries wise, as well he does also look to have the edge on Cheong in the calibre of horses when they will clash in these races.
Chin made it clear at the start of the season that he was set on claiming his second title and he has planned and placed his horses well. Cheong has done a fine job with a smaller team but at the end of the day the numbers say it all. As at the weekend Chin has sent out 400 runners as opposed to Cheong's 368. Chin has an 11%-win rate and a 27% place strike; Cheong is running at 11% for the win and a place rate of 34%.
Whilst Chin is in a very enviable position for the four remaining racedays he is not getting ahead of himself as yet.
"It's not over till the last day. Yes, I'm happy to be in such a good position and looking forward to the last four days, and we will be giving it our best."
"I'll much prefer the weather to fine up though, as the majority of my horses will be better on good ground." Chin added.
Hardworking Filipino horseman Breinell Yamzon booted home a double over the weekends racing with Venture's Elite on Friday night for trainer K H Leong in the Class 4 over 1350 metres on the sand, and Electroplate Alloy on Sunday for Allen Tam in the Class 2 over 1500 metres.
Yamzon does not get lot of plum rides at times but makes most of them, and his ride on Electroplate Alloy was a gem. Yamzon took command of the race straight out of gates showing his fellow riders he was intent on leading, then once in the backstraight he dropped the tempo and rated the gelding to perfection.
With the backmarkers not content with the race speed and swooping wide coming to the corner, Yamzon had a line of four outside him at the top of the straight, but once he cut loose Electroplate Alloy sprinted away with a winning break. The son of Golden Archer had enough in hand to stave off the late dash by Luen On Poseidon (Luis Corrales) to win a half a length on the line, with Fortune Paradise (Tshwaro Appie) in third.
Japanese rider Masa Tanaka also kicked home a double on Sunday to take him to 38 wins for the season, and in third spot on the riders table behind Luis Corrales 68 and Eric Cheung on 52.
Tanaka's wins were the turquoise double in first two races with Turquoise Square running away with the Class 4 over 1500 metres after a perfect ride by Tanaka. After breaking in the lead, Tanaka came back from gate eight to let the speedsters go and land midfield the rails. From there on he just continued to save ground on the fence, before coming off the back of the leaders at the two hundred to race away an easy win.
Geoff Allendorf's Turquoise Success was the second winner for Tanaka when he rated the son of All Too Hard (Aus) to perfection up front, before racing away for a big win in the Class 3 & 4 over 1200 metres.
Turquoise Success has been a revelation for Allendorf this season, with Sunday's win number five since he started his winning run in February.
The gelding took 12 runs to break his maiden status and was earning the tag of a speedy squib over the 1200 metre courses. Allendorf took the bold initiative to step him up to 1500 metres resulting in an all the way win first time at the trip. Three more victories followed before Allendorf switched him back to 1200 for Sunday's race resulting in his easiest win.
"Stepping him up to 1500 metres done wonders for his confidence, and helped get him to relax a lot more." Allendorf said.
"The other thing that has been what I think is the main factor, is that this is his second season. All of my horses have improved in their second season; they need time to acclimatize and mature. I'm a huge believer in it. Time and patience are the answer."