Dylan Mo heads into Wednesday’s eight-race card at Happy Valley only one win away from his 70th career success and the 25-year-old is upbeat about his chances of notching that apprenticeship-ending victory.
“I have a couple of good chances; all of them are in very good form,” Mo said.
Mo has six rides on the night, including last start-winner Circuit Glory in the feature, the Class 1 Happy Valley Vase over 1800m.
The Tony Cruz-trained galloper led all the way last start and Mo is expecting him to hold his form tonight. “This race is a very small field (eight runners), so I will try my best to stay calm and ride the horse so that I can give him every chance to win.”
Another of his mounts on the night comes up in Race 8 with the Peter Ho-trained Magnificent, who dead-heated with Encouraging in his most recent start.
“The horse he shared the win with won on Sunday, so this one also is a good chance,” Mo said. Magnificent dead-heated with Encouraging at only his fourth start.
Encouraging went on to score an all-the-way win at Sha Tin at the weekend and in doing so sealed a hat-trick. “The form is good, everything is good, and Magnificent is stronger than last time,” Mo added.
The apprentice has tallied 20 wins so far this season, a testament to his hard work and determination. After joining the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Apprentice Jockeys’ School, Mo was sent on an overseas placement in 2013, first to South Africa and then, in 2014, to New Zealand where he was apprenticed to Allan Sharrock.
Mo’s overseas experience provided a good grounding for a return to Hong Kong as apprentice to Danny Shum and he scored his first win aboard Fish N’ Chips on 1 January, 2017.
“I will never forget my first win in Hong Kong!” he said.
Mo’s supportive parents will be in attendance today at Happy Valley in anticipation of a graduation win. “I like doing this and my parents have been very supportive, this is my career and my hobby.” he said.
The challenge of transitioning to the senior ranks is one that motivates Mo. “It’s the next step, the next level, so I need to try and get the opportunities and support, I am looking forward to it, I will try my best” he said.
Furore gave Frankie Lor his first BMW Hong Kong Derby at the weekend and the Hugh Bowman-ridden galloper’s triumph in the HK$18 million race is still sinking in. “It was like a dream. We got him there in good form and then it was down to the jockey and he did a good job,” Lor said.
Lor now heads to Happy Valley with another Derby winner, the 2017 Grade 1 Queensland Derby victor, Ruthven, who will aim for a revival at his Happy Valley debut in the Class 1 Happy Valley Vase over 1800m.
“He’s never been to Happy Valley, so it’s new for him but he’s dropped to Class 1, he should be okay at 1800m and he’s had a break.” said an optimistic Lor. “He hasn’t had a problem – we just decided to give him a bit of time,” he added.
Ruthven had an issue last spring but Lor insists that he is sound and ready to run – having not raced since a sub-par 12th in December’s Grade 1 Longines Hong Kong Vase over 2400m.
“He had a problem with his suspensory in his right hind, so sometimes he’s not 100% when he trots. But he’s not sore, he looks well so we’ll let him race,” the trainer said.
Ruthven is one of two chances from the Lor yard with the two-time winner Turin Redstar set to take his place. “I think the 1800m should be good for him – it won’t be a problem so he should run a good race,” he said.
This will be Turin Redstar’s first attempt at racing beyond 1650m but Frankie Lor is expecting improvement to come as he steps up to 1800m. “I still think he can improve a little bit and de Sousa will ride him,” he added. – Hong Kong Jockey Club
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