Pingwu Spark wins in sensational fashion
Hong Kong's rising star shows his class over 1,400m
In one swift move, Pingwu Spark added to his burgeoning reputation with a stunning victory in the Class Two Lukfook Jewellery Beloved Collection Handicap run over the 1,400m at Sha Tin yesterday.
In fast-fading light and in the last of 10 races on the Hong Kong card, Pingwu Spark came in for inspired support and was sent out as the short-priced favourite.
The great-looking ghostly grey was attempting to add more intrique to his lovely story. But for some nail-biting moments at the business end of things, it could all have gone horribly wrong.
So it was thanks to jockey Derek Leung that Pingwu Spark prevailed - and his reputation enhanced.
Off with the rest of them on the grass of Sha Tin, Leung seemed to be in all sorts of trouble when they swung for home.
He looked to be in fifth spot with a wall of horses in front of him. And none were going to do him any favours.
Happy Agility was there. So too Zac Purton on Good Standing and Joao Moreira on Big Bang Bong.
All were horses of repute and Pingwu Star was trapped on the rails with that traffic jam in front of him.
However, Leung never did throw in the towel. By some miracle, he managed to extricate himself, peel the horse out and go after the leaders.
A hundred and fifty metres from home, he saw light and pointed his mount to it. Pingwu Spark didn't need to be reminded what to do. He knew his job and he did it.
He went through the gap and once he had his head in front, it was all over.
Happy Agility rallied, as did Baba Mama and Good Standing.
It was to no avail. Pingwu Spark, after being snookered so badly, had saved his best for last.
The buzz horse of the Hong Kong racing scene was home and hosed. And what a delight it must have been for Leung, the horse's trainer Benno Yung and his legion of fans.
Trainer and jockey had, before the race, exercised caution as they paid respect to Pingwu Spark's rivals. "Pingwu Spark is facing strong competitors and he has the top weight, Yung said.
"But he's continued to improve and this time he has a good draw (six) so he has a good chance to win."
As it turned out, their fears were unfounded. Pingwu Spark won like a good horses and his record now reads: Six starts. Four wins. Two seconds.
And the story is far from over. More chapters will be added in the months to come as more victories come his way.
But for now, Hong Kong's got another superstar and the rest of the racing world had better take notice.