Easy Go Easy Win scores first-up
Trainer John Moore unveils first of his Hong Kong Derby contenders
Trainer John Moore unveiled the first of his contenders for the 2018 BMW Hong Kong Derby on Sunday when three-year-old Easy Go Easy Win saluted in his local debut in the Class 3 Lukfook Jewellery PT Bridal Collection Handicap over 1,200m.
It was the middle leg of a treble for Joao Moreira, who scored his first win for Moore since Eagle Way's Group 3 Queen Mother Memorial Cup Handicap over 2,400m triumph in late April.
"We had an opinion of this horse in Australia," said Moore.
"He ran well in three starts and we were planning on taking him up to the J J Atkins, a Group 1 for two-year-olds over 1,600m, in June."
"But I told John Sargent, who trained him down there, not to send him there, that he would be well-rated for Hong Kong and that he could put a few wins together at that mark.
"There's still a lot of improvement there, he's looking for further. I'm a big fan of the Savabeel and Pins nick, and I have a big opinion of this horse, going forward.
"This is our first horse for Marces Lee, his son (Barry) owns this one but Marces has put a lot of faith in us and I'm grateful to win this for him. Today is the start of the new brigade coming onboard."
Moreira earlier won on Almond Lee's Proud Sky, while he brought up his three-timer on Danny Shum-trained Pick Number One.
The day's feature, the Class 3 Lukfook Jewellery Cup Handicap over 1,600m, was expected to be won by trainer John Size, with his galloper Ping Hai Star sent out 1.5 favourite.
But it was Size's former assistant-turned-chief premiership rival, Frankie Lor, who took the spoils with Australian import New Elegance.
The High Chaparral five-year-old appreciated the step-up to 1,600m to cause a 20-1 upset under Alexis Badel.
"Last time, 1,200m was just too short, but that was expected," said Lor.
"He didn't like the shadows at Happy Valley under lights though, either.
"He was supposed to run over 1,400m two weeks ago but he got loose on the track the day before and so we had to scratch him. But I wasn't worried about going to 1,600m with him, that was the trip he needed.
"We took the blinkers off to make sure he wouldn't be keen."
Ping Hai Star faded after contesting the lead to finish eighth. - HKJC