Hong Kong News

Francis Lui trains 900th Hong Kong winner

Francis Lui became only the sixth trainer to produce 900 wins in Hong Kong after a Happy Valley treble on Thursday night left the veteran clasping ambitions of landing the 2023/24 Hong Kong trainers’ championship.

Lui, 65, joined John Moore (1,735 wins), John Size (1,523), Tony Cruz (1,485) Caspar Fownes (1,092) and Ricky Yiu (986) as the only Hong Kong-based trainers to post 900 wins or more after General Ace (Telperion), Joy Coming (Sooboog) and Golden Empire (Fastnet Rock) struck.

“Tonight is a bit of a surprise but, as a trainer, you want more and more winners. I have proved to myself that I can train. I want to train as many winners as I can still,” Lui said. “I just want to keep going.”

Famed for his association with Hong Kong superstar Golden Sixty (Medaglia D’Oro), Lui was typically humble on reaching the milestone as he reflected on his stable champion’s record-breaking accomplishments.

“It’s not easy to find such a horse – Golden Sixty is the horse of a lifetime,” he said.

Runner-up last season to 12-time champion Size with 67 wins, Lui boosted his tally this term to 35 wins after 46 meetings to trail only Pierre Ng (47) with his three-timer.

“I’m a bit surprised [by the treble],” he said before addressing the championship. “I’ll keep going and I hope I can [win], of course.”

Keagan De Melo slotted the first of Lui’s winners when General Ace steamed from the tail of the field to win the Class 5 Hung To Handicap (1200m) before De Melo’s fellow South African Lyle Hewitson chimed in with a race-to-race double for Lui.

Hewitson prevailed with Joy Coming, who covered plenty of ground before snaring the second section of the Class 4 Tsun Yip Handicap (1200m), before giving Golden Empire a rail-hugging run behind the leaders to clinch the second section of the Class 3 Mut Wah Handicap (1200m).

Zac Purton and Size continued a flourishing partnership when A Americ Te Specso (Per Incanto) steamed to victory in the Class 3 Volunteers’ Challenge Cup Handicap (1200m). Slotting his fourth win, the gelding gave Purton and Size their 12th success in tandem this season.

Fownes teamed with Alexis Badel to snare the Class 3 Yue Man Handicap (1800m) with Noble Pursuit (Savabeel), who delivered a quality performance in the card finale after Super Eagle’s (Mshawish) triumph in the first section of the Class 4 Tsun Yip Handicap (1200m) under Karis Teetan provided Chris So with extra satisfaction after the five-year-old ended an exasperating run of minor placings this season – five seconds and three thirds – with deserved breakthrough success.

A dual winner in Australia where he was known as Wish Master, Super Eagle had racked up six seconds and four third placings from 22 previous Hong Kong attempts.

“Finally. It’s just good for [owner] Mr Leung. Every time he’s chasing me asking ‘When, when, when?’ The horse is honest but just no luck,” So said. “But he’s an honest horse and we’ll keep trying. After the win, maybe we’ll give him a small break and bring him back.”

Douglas Whyte laid down a positive marker ahead of Russian Emperor’s (Galileo) tilt at the HH The Amir Trophy (Gr 3, 2400m) in Doha today when Harmony Fire (Brazen Beau) blazed to an impressive win in the Class 4 Hoi Yuen under Ellis Wong.

Clocking 57.27s, Harmony Fire posted his fourth win over the course and distance with his first victory since June 2021.

“It gives the yard and myself a bit of a boost. You always worry when you leave the stable and step away for a couple of days,” Whyte said from Qatar. “I’ve got a good team behind me and it’s nice to get a winner under the belt while I’m away. It will give them a bit of confidence as well.”

Extending impressive form from the Chinese New Year Raceday on Monday, Brenton Avdulla struck with Danny Shum’s Charity Bingo (Buratino) in the second section of the Class 4 Wai Yip Handicap (1650m).

Unplaced in his first nine Hong Kong starts, Charity Bingo appreciated the strong tempo in adding to the three wins he scored in the UK, where he raced as Tyrone’s Poppy for Tim Easterby.

Angus Chung continued his strong season, notching his 28th win for the term, with a brilliant front-running ride on the Dennis Yip-trained Cordyceps One (Hinchinbrook) in the first section of the Wai Yip Handicap (1650m).

Allowed to stride through the first 400 metres in a leisurely 29.20s, Chung gradually upped the tempo before easily holding off Brave Witness (Star Witness) and Joyful Prosperity (Daiwa Major).

Privacy Preference Center


Cookies that are primarily for advertising purposes



These are used to track user interaction and detect potential problems. These help us improve our services by providing analytical data on how users use this site.

_ga, _gid, _hjid, _hjIncludedInSample,