The Douglas Whyte-Lyle Hewitson train keeps rolling, and the two linked up again at Happy Valley on Wednesday night for another double.
After the victory of Smiling Face and Valiant Elegance, the latter completing a hat-trick of victories in the Class Three Kau Sai Chau Handicap, the South African dream team has now produced nine winners from the last eight meetings (1,200m).
Hewitson, who was riding Valiant Elegance, who was saluting in his maiden effort at Class Three level, punched the air as he crossed the line, his 13th victory in less than a month.
Hewitson may have been tempted to rush Valiant Elegance to the front early from stall eight after winning his two previous starts while doing all the running from decent draws, but he showed plenty of discipline to settle his mount in midfield.
Valiant Elegance came up with a strong late run in the straight to win by a half-length.
Valiant Elegance's victory followed Whyte and Hewitson's previous success with Smiling Face, who won the Class Five Waglan Island Handicap for the first time in Hong Kong in his 30th attempt (1,650m).
"He's had a string of bad luck," Whyte added. "He placed second in both of his Griffin races, and the horses who beat him are now in Classes Three and Two."
"He's always shown potential, but putting things together has taken a long time." I'm delighted he won because the owners have been really patient."
Whyte's double brings his season total to 37, only four short of last year's total, and he must now be hoping for his first half-century as a trainer.
On paper, the Class Two Grass Island Handicap (1,200m) appeared to be a tough race with a number of young improvers battling it out, but Keep You Warm turned the race into a parade.
Zac Purton's only winner of the night travelled like a dream behind the leader Mclucky and won by two lengths in the straight.
On Wednesday night, punters struggled to navigate the card, with the first six favorites failing to deliver.
Oversubscribed swooped from last turning into the straight to first passing the post in the Class Four Ninepin Group Handicap (1,200m), causing the biggest shock.
The speedster, who was sent off at $68.70, had shown little in his previous two outings – his first two over 1,200m since April 2020 – but he was given a good ride by Alexis Badel, and trainer David Hall was astonished that his six-year-old had produced at this distance.
"We never had the faith that he would run 1,200m because he'd been running over 1,000m religiously week in and week out and he's never really been one to sustain a lengthy sprint," Hall said.
"He's a challenging horse to ride as well." If he isn't snagged right away, he travels much too fast, is fierce, over-races, and finally falls apart. Alexis gave him a wonderful ride. We'll surely try it again now that he has the 1,200m string on his bow."
Telecom Cheetah was ridden by Joao Moreira and was sent off at $4.2 after his last start, but he came back to win the Class Four Tung Lung Chau Handicap at significantly greater odds (1,800m).
The first leg of a Badel double, the Dennis Yip Chor-hong-trained runner fought from a long way back to win by half a length in the straight for $26