400 for trainer Hall and 100 for jockey Rawiller
Day of milestones for duo at Sha Tin in Hong Kong
It was a day of milestones at Sha Tin on Saturday as trainer David Hall brought up his 400th Hong Kong win with Little Giant in the Class 2 Hakka Culture Handicap over 1,200m and jockey Nash Rawiller made it 100 local winners with a double.
Little Giant arrived from New Zealand with wins over multiple Group 1 winner Humidor and Group 1-placed Chocante and had impressed at his local debut in May.
He made his dirt debut on Saturday under Zac Purton, recording a tough three-quarter- length score over hardy Pablosky.
"We were thinking about running him in a 1,200m on the grass a couple of weeks back, but he missed a trial due to bad weather," said Hall said.
"I just decided I wasn't frightened to run him on the dirt, so we waited a little bit longer.
"The horse had yielding track form in New Zealand, he'd worked and trialled well on the dirt, there was never a question in my mind about whether he'd handle it.
"It was a very tough performance today, he almost got cleaned up on the bend and again in the straight.
"He had to be pretty brave and I noticed the margin to the third horse was sizeable, so I was impressed."
It was one of two wins for Purton, who continued his strong record in dirt races this season aboard Hong Kong debutant Spotlight Dream in the Class 3 Mei Zhou City Handicap (1,200m) for trainer Danny Shum.
Rawiller notched his century aboard trainer Tony Millard's Strathclyde in the Class 4 Zhongshan Hakka Handicap (1,200m) before completing his brace on Ace King for Peter Ho in the Class 3 World Hakka Capital Handicap (1,000m).
"I'm happy because at one stage, it didn't look like I would ride 100 winners here," said Rawiller said.
"I've stuck at it though and I'm starting to get a few rewards for the time I've put in, and I'm starting to feel like I'm building some momentum again."
It was a big day for Australian jockeys, with nine of the 10 races going to riders originally based Down Under.
In addition to Chad Schofield, Purton and Rawiller, Brett Prebble also scored a double aboard King Winsa and Regency Bo Bo, with Keith Yeung the sole non-Australian rider to salute on Unique Joyful. - HKJC