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High-flying Ho needs one more for new personal best

April 26, 2023 at 3:55:15 AM

Vincent Ho is one of Hong Kong racing’s biggest names and at Happy Valley on Wednesday night (26 April) the local ace can reach a new personal best.

Vincent Ho is one of Hong Kong racing’s biggest names and at Happy Valley on Wednesday night (26 April) the local ace can reach a new personal best.

Ho has ridden 513 winners across his career in Hong Kong and racked up a swag of Group 1 triumphs aboard Golden Sixty, Loves Only You, Southern Legend and Stronger. With 67 wins in the bag this season, the 32-year-old has already equalled his previous best set in 2019/20 and is currently on track to smash that figure out of the park across the remaining 24 fixtures.

The quiet achieving Ho has ridden 50 or more winners in each of his last five seasons and insists he is taking it one race at a time: “I’m just doing my best on every horse – that’s it.”

Buoyed by his famed association with Golden Sixty, which will see Hong Kong’s champion chase a record third straight HK$20 million G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) this Sunday (30 April) at Sha Tin, Ho’s five chances at the midweek fixture are Circuit Elite, Scotch Tycoon, Win Win Fighter, Majestic Victory and Jumbo Fortune.

Scotch Tycoon lines up in the first section of the Class 4 Daejeon Handicap (1200m) for trainer Francis Lui. The Rich Enuff gelding’s last run in the grade returned victory in 2022.

“I think it is better, Class 4, it’s still not easy to carry the big weight because he isn’t really a big horse. He has the ability, for sure, I think he’ll still have a chance,” Ho said.

Majestic Victory was initially a standby starter but gained promotion to run in the Class 3 Korea Racing Authority Trophy Handicap (1800m) for trainer Tony Cruz following the withdrawal of Turin Mascot. The Excelebration gelding steps away from barrier 11 of 12.

“He’s doing well but this won’t be easy, I’ll just do my best and we’ll see how the race pans out. If we get lucky we can slot in somewhere, which will be good,” Ho said.

Jumbo Fortune caught the eye at the tail of the field last start and lines up in the Class 3 Incheon Handicap (1200m) in a bid to capture a first Hong Kong win at his 14th attempt.

“He’s a nice horse, sometimes he just thinks too much. Hopefully we can fix that but sometimes they just need time to mature up mentally, they need some time and patience,” Ho said.

The chestnut by Pride Of Dubai has shown ability across his short career with several close-up finishes in Class 2 and Class 3.

Golden Sixty stepped out for a gallop on the dirt at Sha Tin on Monday morning (24 April), with Ho declaring the camp pleased ahead of Sunday’s FWD Champions Mile.

“The work rider was happy with him yesterday (Monday, 24 April). All is good, I’ll gallop him on Thursday (27 April) on turf and that will be his final fast work before the race. I am looking forward to that, he’s doing well,” Ho said.

Ho also hops aboard Danon The Kid for Japan in the HK$25 million G1 FWD QEII Cup (2000m) on FWD Champions Day. He worked the Group 1 winner this morning (Tuesday, 25 April) at Sha Tin under heavy fog and drizzling rain on the dirt course.

“He knows the place, he’s a horse that is really in form. He should improve from his last run as well after a little short break. I think he’s going to be very competitive,” Ho said.

The last-start G1 Osaka Hai (2000m) placegetter is looking to turn the tables on Romantic Warrior after finishing second to Danny Shum’s charge in December’s G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m).

“Romantic Warrior will be tough to beat but he will have to be at his best. Geraldina is really good too. She is going to be a main danger as well,” Ho said.

Karis Teetan will chase a return to winning ways for Howdeepisyourlove when John Size’s rapidly improving sprinter lines up in the Class 2 Seoul Handicap (1200m) at Happy Valley.

“Nervous Witness jumped a little into him when he left the gates last start, which broke his momentum a little bit. That’s why he couldn’t get going from the start and when he did get going the pace slackened up too, I thought it was a really good run,” Teetan said.

Howdeepisyourlove has emerged as one of Hong Kong racing’s sharpest young talents. He has incurred a 35-point rating increase so far and finished a close-up second behind the five-time winning Victor The Winner at Sha Tin last start.

Wednesday’s (26 April) nine-race programme at Happy Valley kicks off at 6.45pm with the Class 5 Ulsan Handicap (1650m).

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