Placais super on Super Fortune
Frenchman's daring ride takes progessive galloper to fourth win from five starts
A daring ride by French jockey Olivier Placais certainly won it for progressive galloper Super Fortune on Sunday.
The jockey they call The Conductor for his peculiar style of whipping barged his way between runners at a crucial stage of the $125,000 The Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy, a Kranji Stakes A race over 1,200m, to notch win No. 4 in five starts for the four-year-old by Mossman.
It was Super Fortune's toughest test but he again displayed true grit and tenacity and, obviously, was helped by the light load (51.5kg) and the inside barrier (No. 2).
Placais admitted to some anxious moments when the $13 favourite was stuck on the rails, landlocked behind leader Wimbledon (Vlad Duric) and second-favourite ($21) Faaltless (John Powell).
With the naked eye, it was plain to see that Super Fortune was clambering over heels and just needed to be set free to let rip. That moment finally came when a sliver of light appeared between Wimbledon and Faaltless.
Placais did not waste a second, as he took the narrow gap, admittedly with a touch of elbowing, allowing Super Fortune to finally break free and explode away to a one-and-a-half-length victory over Elusive Emperor (Barend Vorster).
Wimbledon finished third, a neck away.
The winning time was 1min 10.16sec for the 1,200m on the Long Course B.
A clearly delighted Placais punched the air as he crossed the line first for the fourth time aboard Super Fortune.
"This horse has not done anything wrong apart from the day he ran third, but I think he was a bit tired on that day," he said.
"He's a horse who always gives all his heart. This week, I gave him the same prep as at his last win, including a short sharp sprint over 400m over the week, just to open up his lungs.
"Today, I knew we would be in for a tough run when after I was able to take a seat behind Vlad, and John came on my outside to keep me in, which is normal as I was on the horse to beat.
"It actually worked in my favour I couldn't get out for most of the straight as he's a horse who should not see daylight too early.
"When the small gap finally came, my horse quickened so well. He's still a bit green and I think there is still scope for improvement.
"I'd like to thank the owner Mr Chua for putting me on this very good horse of his. Alwin has also done a great job to keep this horse in good form for so long."
Tan commended Placais for his daring ride, but added Super Fortune also had to be a willing partner to combine for the win.
"Olivier did a very good job. He was very cool when there was no gap there," said the Singaporean conditioner.
"He just waited and waited for the gap to open. To me, it looked too tight, I didn't think he could go through, but Olivier didn't give up and we got the rewards.
"I told the owner (Chua Kang Lim) that we should look for a better race for this horse. I think in the future, we can one day look for a feature race for him.
"There might be one more race for him in December before he goes for a little break."