800 wins and Prebble joins the HK greats
Aussie rider now in same league as Whyte and Cruz
Jockey Brett Prebble put himself into rare company when he became just the third rider in Hong Kong history to reach 800 winners after taking Sunday's feature at Sha Tin, the Class 1 Singapore Turf Club Trophy Handicap aboard Amazing Kids.
Prebble, who has been based in Hong Kong for more than 15 years, joined legends Douglas Whyte (1774) and Tony Cruz (946) as an 800-win rider when guiding the John Size-trained Amazing Kids to a tough half-length win over the front-running Fabulous One.
"It is special," said Prebble. "It is only a number, but it does mean something. It was just a dry period to get it, though, the whole of February and into March to go from 799 to 800. Given one week here can sometimes feel like a month, it feels like forever since my last win. Still, it's a decent feat, but I'm already looking towards 900.
"John's fantastic, he will always support those of us who might not be getting much support elsewhere. He always throws you a bone, and he's always been happy to put me on this horse. I really enjoy riding for him, especially on Amazing Kids, so to bring up that mark on this horse means a lot."
Amazing Kids, a two-time Group 3 winner last season, scored his first win for the term in the Singapore Turf Club Trophy. It was the first time in almost two years that the Falkirk six-year-old had stepped away from Group company.
"It was a good confidence booster for him, sometimes these horses who are always in the Group races need it and I think it will do him the world of good," he said. "He's very honest anyway but that might just give him that confidence to find an extra half-length up in grade.
"I remember when I got on Sacred Kingdom in 2009, he hadn't won in a year and he only just fell in to win, but then he went to Singapore and he beat a top-class field easily.
Prebble called Amazing kids an "amazing horse".
"When you ride him in the trials, he feels like a Class 5 horse - sometimes he can get panelled and beaten 30 lengths. His last trial, back on the turf, he felt a bit better, his desire was there and I said to John there, he was cherry-ripe to run a race," he said.
It may have been 12 years between Whyte and Prebble reaching the 800-win milestone, but the exclusive club may soon have a fourth member in Zac Purton.
The Australian rider sits on 791 after a double at Sha Tin on Sunday, scoring aboard the John Moore-trained Beauty Prince in the Class 2 Lion City Handicap and Dennis Yip's Super Wise in the Class 3 Singapore River Handicap.
Jockey Karis Teetan was also celebrating a milestone of his own when he scored his 200th Hong Kong win aboard the David Ferraris-trained Amazing Satchmo in the Class 4 Boat Quay Handicap over 1,400m.
"It's incredible, I'm so happy," said Teetan. "It's a thrill to be here and riding against these guys, some of the best jockeys in the world, so to reach that number of winners is something special. I hope it carries on and that I keep getting the support I'm getting now." - HKJC