Preciousship caps Ricky Yiu's hat-trick
Trainer now back in driver's seat in premiership table
Preciousship capped a hat-trick for trainer Ricky Yiu with a gritty success in the Class 2 Choi Wan Handicap over 1,600m at Sha Tin on Saturday.
The trainer's treble ended a 35-race run of outs that stretched back to Jan 15, but the blossoming Preciousship's fourth score at his sixth start this term catapulted Yiu back to the top of the premiership table.
Yiu is now two ahead of Francis Lui, who had edged into the lead on Wednesday night.
"He has acclimatised now with that full season under his belt, as well as being gelded. He is now on the right track," said Yiu.
"He's a horse that loves to race, he enjoys it - it's not often you find a horse that loves to run."
The Iffraaj gelding broke cleanly to settle midfield but encountered trouble on the turn for home.
Yiu was full of praise for Vincent Ho's patience atop the Irish Listed winner.
"It was a little bit bumpy in the run but Vincent did the right thing. He took a seat and he caught a second breather, so he could accelerate again and, when he does that, you're almost certain that he will give everything," said Yiu.
"He's a lovely horse to train, he's a lovely horse to ride in the morning and as well for the jockey in a race.
"He has a good temperament and he's a lovely horse in his box. It's a piece of cake to train him."
The Aga Khan Studs-bred gelding rocketed to a rating of 93 ahead of this race, having risen 23 points since he banished his Hong Kong maiden tag five starts ago.
"We'll see how his rating goes. He's 93 now, so if he does stay under 100, he'll carry a fair bit of weight now, but he's done well, so we might give him a little break to freshen him up," said Yiu.
Preciousship's success followed a victory two races earlier for Ho and Yiu, with World Famous, who snared the Class 3 Lok Fu Handicap over 1,800m on the turf.
Yiu went on to seal his three-timer when Lone Eagle ground his way to a breakthrough triumph in the Class 3 Kai Yip Handicap over 1,200m on dirt under Derek Leung.
"He's a morning star working on the dirt, he tries very hard, he goes like lightning," Yiu said,
"He had a bad draw today but maybe it helped him because he didn't have any kick-back." - HKJC