Given a great ride by Filipino rider Breinell Yamzon, Éclair Lightning was back in the run in a race run at slick speed. Once in the straight Yamzon let the giant-sized son of Darci Brahma (NZ) balance up and rolled off the back of Cherry Road to find clear running, with the big bay storming home late to snatch victory from Treasurelake Buddy (Eric Cheung), in a great finish with the dead heaters Luen On Poseidon (Fausto Henrique), and Winnie Star (Frankie Choi) close up in third.
It's been a long hard road to recovery for Éclair Lightning, who was runner up to Sacred Capital in the 2019 SJM Derby; and in any other year with the absence of Sacred Capital would have been hailed as a champion.
The bay geldings record now reads 3 wins, four seconds and one third from 13 starts; however, the stats do not tell the true story. Twice he chased home Sacred Capital giving him a decent run for his money, on one occasion after he was severely checked early in the run. Another three-quarter length second followed behind Lover Paradise after a nightmare run from gate eleven, plus a second place on debut over 1200 metres, behind the speedy Thehorseiswithme over the unsuitable 1200 metres.
It was a relieved Peter Leyshan after the win, with the former Champion trainer describing it as one of the most satisfying moments of his long career.
"Well seeing this horse win again has given me an enormous amount of pride. It's been a long wait and a long road to recovery. I was happy with his first up run, and then his second up run at 1200 was very encouraging; the way he ran on late and was only beaten two lengths. Breinell gave him a lovely ride; he gave him time to settle and kept him nicely balanced up."
"He done a tendon in a race back in November 2019, so he was away from the racetrack for 16 months in total. I am so grateful to the owners The Éclair Syndicate, they have been so patient and understanding. We knew we had a class horse; it was just a matter of if we could get him back again."
"The first thing I did was give him four months box rest; then it was just lots of swimming, walking and trotting for months, before we went any further. He has pulled up in great shape after Friday's run and I will be aiming for a Class 1 race next month with him."
Éclair Lightning was a $125,000 NZD purchase at the 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sales. A magnificent looking individual standing at 16 ½ hands and 1250 pounds; Éclair Lightning has now earned just on $1.5 million HKD.
Geoff Allendorf was another trainer that derived a great deal of satisfaction from the win of Turquoise Success, in Sunday's Class 4 & 5 over 1500 metres.
Turquoise Success made it three wins from his last four runs in the hands of Japanese rider Massa Tanaka, when he defeated Dutch Shell (Fausto Henrique), with his stablemate Global Justice (Luis Corrales) running on for third.
Turquoise Success is a four-year-old son of All Too Hard (Aus) from the Peintre Celebre (USA) mare Frescante, making him a half-brother to the listed placed Weekend Special. The gelding showed ability right from day one in the enclave, however, he was not carrying his trackwork form over to raceday. The chestnut was a beaten favorite on numerous occasions over the 1200 metre trips, and always the maker of his own demise by racing too fiercely and compounding.
In a bold move Allendorf stepped the gelding up to 1500 metres. At his first run at the trip, he set up a big lead before running out a one- and three-quarter length winner. A close second at 1500 followed next, before an easy four and a quarter length win again at the distance; that was topped off by Saturday's victory.
"He has always worked like a higher-class horse, but has always went a bit hard in his races. It was good today that he even let the leader go and sat in second spot; it was a good ride by Masa (Tanaka). I definitely think he is capable of getting to a much higher grade, but we need to get him to relax more." Allendorf said.
Luen On Prosperity gave Allendorf a quick race to race double when he led throughout to win the Class 4 over 1200 metres under top jockey Luis Corrales.
It was win number four for the progressive four-year-old, who has managed to place on seven other occasions from his 19 starts, picking up close to three quarters of a million in prize money along the way for owner Mr. Thomas Lau.
Golden Conqueror Macau's reigning sand champion let his crown slip on Sunday, when he suffered just his second defeat on the all-weather track at the hands of the Stanley Chin trained Mountain Tiger.
Sent out the even money favorite, Golden Conqueror under regular rider Roger Yu took up his customary front running role to lead, hotly pursued in the run by Rock To Road the second favorite ridden by Eric Cheung. Rock To Road had been the only horse to defeat Golden Conqueror, that was back in March of last year, and had been runner up to him on three occasions since.
Most form students thought with the 13 pounds pull in the weights from their last encounter in February, where Golden Conqueror beat Rock To Road by only a neck, would be the champs downfall; however just as Rock To Road laid down the gauntlet to Golden Conqueror in the home straight, Mountain Eagle (Luis Corrales) came storming down the outside to beat the pair of them. At the line it was Mountain Eagle by two and a quarter lengths from Golden Conqueror, with Rock To Road three quarters away in third.
Before Sunday Golden Conquerors sand record read ten starts for nine wins and one second; pretty impressive for a A $55,000 buy from the 2018 Inglis Ready 2 Race Sales, that has now earnt over $1.7 million HKD in prize money.
The win by Mountain Eagle gave Luis Corrales five winners for the weekend as he surges away with an eight-win lead on 45 wins over Eric Cheung's 37, with Masa Tanaka on 27 winners in third.
Breinell Yamzon kicked home a double for the weekend with both Éclair Lightning on Friday night, and Fortune Lady in Sunday's Class 4 & 5 (2nd Division) over 1500 metres
Prepared by Ricky Choi, Fortune Lady made it three straight wins when she produced a quick turn of foot to burst out of the pack to beat Luen On Prodigy (Luis Corrales), with four lengths back to Yings Fans (Roger Yu) in third.
Fortune Lady was one of three mares in the race, and the smallest horse at 980 pounds; that however proved no burden and she shouldered the 130 pounds with ease to win.