In the what was the MJC's first race day for the Chinese New Year, Fung saddled up both Lover Paradise and Kelowna Star in the Class 1 Good Fortune Handicap over 1500 metres, as his first runners for the year.
Lover Paradise who was handled to perfection by Japanese rider Massa Tanaka gave Fung the perfect start with brilliant win, whilst the nine-year-old Kelowna Star ran on strongly under Luis Corrales for fourth spot.
Lover Paradise who has often had a tendency to over race in the 1500 metre contests, settled nicely under Tanaka and was always traveling kindly on the back of the leader Oneofthegreats. Once in the straight Tanaka cut loose and the son of Canford Cliffs (Ire) raced clear and had plenty in hand to hold off race favorite Pearl Green (Peter Ho), with Top Mountainlegend (Roger Yu) in third.
It was win number 11 for Lover Paradise with another seven placings from his 36 starts, with his earnings now nudging the $3 million HKD mark.
The victory was also the first leg of a double for Massa Tanaka who won the next event, The Happiness Handicap over 1500 metres on Money Link for trainer Stanley Chin.
Hostwin Aurora is emerging as Tony Fung's latest sand star, after he destroyed his opposition in the Class 3 over 1350 metres with top jockey Luis Corrales on board, winning by four lengths eased down.
An Australian import who raced there under the same name, Hostwin Aurora's three runs at Doomben, the Gold Coast and Kembla were mediocre to say the least, with his eleventh placing at Kembla beaten 3.7 lengths as close as he got. The four-year-old won first up in Macau on the sand over 1350 metres and has really found his niche on the surface, with two wins and two seconds from his five starts on the surface.
Geoff Allendorf was another who cheered in the Year Of The Ox with a double for the afternoon.
Allendorf won the first race for the Lunar New Year, The Prosperity Handicap Division 1 for Class 6 gallopers with Turquoise Success , who was given a lovely front running ride to score by Japanese rider Shogo Nakano.
Turquoise Success had been a beaten favorite on numerous occasions in his 12 runs prior to Saturday, all over the sprint distances of 1200 metres on the turf and 1050 metres on the sand. In a bold move Allendorf stepped the four-year-old son of All Too Hard (Aus) up to 1500 metres that resulted in a strong win.
"I've been wanting to run him at 1500 for a while, but each time I put him in he got balloted out. I've always thought it would suit him with his breeding. He works like a Class 3 horse in the morning and I'm surprised he has not won a race until today."
"I was a little concerned that he might go a bit hard, that's what he has been doing in the 1200 metres races, so I put Shogo (Nakano) on him; no one here rides a front runner better than he does. He just gets them to relax so well; we've seen it time and time again. The horse shows so much potential in his work, so I'm hoping he can relax in these middle distances races and go on from here."
Turquoise Success recorded 1.28.6 for the 1500 metres which was a whole two seconds faster than the Second Division taken out by Luen On Success, also prepared by Allendorf.
It was win number three in Macau for Luen On Success a son of Lord Kanaloa (Jpn), and was the first leg of a treble for jockey Luis Corrales for the afternoon.
"It's a great start to the year for not only myself but for my owners Mr. Tang who owns Turquoise Success and he also has a half share in Luen On Success with Mr. Thomas Lau. They have both been good supporters of the stable."
"I definitely think Luen On Success can also go on to better things. His runs since we gelded him have been an improvement, and Luis (Corrales) gave him a lovely ride. The time wasn't flash but he won with a bit in hand."
Luis Corrales was the star of the afternoon booting home three winners to take him to a three-win lead in the riders' standings on 25 victories, to Eric Cheung's 22 winners, with Peter Ho in third spot on 21.
As well as Luen On Success and Hostwin Aurora, Corrales was successful on the Alan Tam prepared Premier Choice in the last of the day the Lai See handicap for Class 4 & 5 gallopers over 1050 metres.
It was win number seven for Premier Choice, all of which have been on the all-weather surface.