Lucky Missile breaks Hong Kong maiden

New Zealand-bred gelding Lucky Missile scored his first Hong Kong win when successful in the Class 4 Tsoi Tak Handicap (1650m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.

Trainer David Hall credits a gear change with the win and is confident the son of Rock ‘n’ Pop will improve from the run.

“Lucky Missile is still a three-year-old, he’s still sort of learning his way and getting his confidence so I think he can progress and get a couple of more wins,” Hall said.

“The side-winkers made a bit of a difference tonight, we were going to go with the blinkers  but he worked a bit too fiercely in them so we backed off, went halfway with the cheek-pieces, and it did the job.

Former kiwi galloper Waldorf also saluted on Wednesday. The son of Highly Recommended jetted through runners from deep to nab the season’s last race, the Class 2 Cheong Ming Handicap (1200m) by a neck under Karis Teetan.

The evening also marked the end of John Moore’s phenomenal career as a licensed Hong Kong trainer, which brought him seven champion trainer titles, eight Horse of the Year heroes, all-time record win and prize money totals, 36 Group One wins, six Hong Kong Derby victories and numerous other big-race successes.

Ricky Yiu sealed the champion trainer title and though there was no presentation to mark his victory due to COVID-19 restrictions Yiu was fine with the quieter celebrations.

“I’ve really achieved my goal, this is the peak of my career, but a lot of people are more excited than I am,” Yiu said. “The staff are very happy – I’m happy too, but I don’t have this excitement.”

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