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King triumphs on first ride in Hong Kong, and trainer Shum snares 800th win

Rachel King was left pinching herself after riding a winner on her first Hong Kong ride, and Danny Shum Chap-shing was all smiles after his 800th city victory as a trainer during Wednesday night’s meeting at Happy Valley.

Just like she did in the World All-Star Jockeys series in Japan in August, King made an immediate impact in the Longines International Jockeys’ Championship (IJC) by taking out the first leg aboard Oversubscribed.

“I had to pinch myself halfway up the straight because my little horse just travelled into it super,” King said.

“The only thing was I thought I might’ve gone too soon, but he was strong late, and it was great to kick off the night like that.

“He was a beautiful ride. He showed me around the track, which was probably the perfect start to riding here at Happy Valley. A big thanks to David Hall for giving me the opportunity.”

King could not capitalise on her early points, finishing ninth on To Infinity, seventh atop Star Contact and third aboard Toronado Phantom to end the IJC in third place, but she did become just the second female after Hollie Doyle to ride an IJC winner.

Quickly away from gate five, King settled Oversubscribed just off the speed before unleashing the eight-year-old in the home straight.

“He’s a very consistent horse around this track and distance, so I’m not surprised,” Hall said. “It’s just nice to win on these nights. Rachel’s [representing Australia] and we’ve combined together, so it’s a happy moment.

“When he lobbed in the one-one, I thought ‘oh, wow’. I was probably expecting him to be a little bit further back than that, but the track is probably favouring a little bit on pace. Being in that spot, you knew he was always going to have a kick, and he was good enough to get the job done.”

Elsewhere on the nine-race card, Shum notched his 800th Hong Kong victory when Helene Feeling won the Class Two Japan Handicap (1,800m) under James McDonald after Nice Birdie took out the Class Five France Handicap (1,650m) in tandem with Jerry Chau Chun-lok.

Pierre Ng Pang-chi continued his exceptional run of form and scored for a tenth meeting in a row when Healthy Healthy fought off a late challenge in the Class Four Great Britain Handicap (1,200m).

“To be winning at 10 meetings in a row is a Cinderella thing to us,” Ng said. “The stable has done a really good job on all of the horses, and I hope we can keep going.”

Tracking the leader at an even tempo, Zac Purton and Healthy Healthy took the lead 150m from home and narrowly denied hat-trick seeker Ernest Feeling.

“It’s still two or three months before I think about the title,” Ng said. “There’s still a lot of time for other trainers to come at us very hard.”

In the opener, an enterprising front-running ride from Luke Ferraris paid dividends as the well-fancied Diamond Flare claimed the Class Five Australia Handicap (1,200m).

Backed in from $18 to $7.5 moments before the off, Ferraris was not for catching and prevailed by a neck to bag a seventh win of the season for Mark Newnham.

“I used to train this horse in Australia, and it’s nice to get a win for those owners, because they’ve supported me right from the start,” Newnham said.

The most impressive victory of the evening belonged to Ricky Yiu Poon-fai-trained Simply Maverick, who stretched clear to win the Class Four Germany Handicap (1,650m) by four and three-quarter lengths.

“He’s improving physically and mentally, and he’s a progressive horse,” Yiu said. “I expected him to do well and maybe win, but not in this style.”


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