With the Macau racing season ending on Sunday, it’s Macau Derby winner Cheers Brothers in full contention for the Macau Gold Cup, the final leg of the Triple Crown.
At 1800m on turf and at 4 years and up, the best of the Macau Derby and Macau Guineas fields are again drawn with Eric Chun to ride Cheers Brothers again.
He donned a pink saddle cloth 8 cap and according to Barrier 10 of 12 runners raced in light blue with yellow chevron silks of Hong Kong TV presenter Eric Tsang and partners.
After four consecutive wins over 1800m, Cheers Brothers nearly fell in the Macau Derby when he entered the straight and is trainer Joe Lau’s top earner of HK$1.96m this season.
The five-year-old bay or bay gelding is by the highly-fashionable Deep Field out of three-time winner Balmoral Baby, sired by Red Ransom, and the Auckland Gold Cup family placed Upstage.
Originally a Melbourne Inglis Great Southern Sale weaned 2018 weanling on account of Rosemont Stud, he became a graduate of the $150,000 NZ Karaka 2019 Yearling Book 1 Sale.
In addition, Joe Lau has the winner of the 2021 Macau Guineas from gate 2 for Shi Haz Huang, Sacred Magnate in 4 with Kam Fai Choi and Snow Storm with Horace Lam from 6.
All-time Macau champion Luis Corrales once again rides Macau Guineas winner Bygone Era with trainer Victor Chan after he was unable to hold off the speedy Cheers Brothers in the Macau Derby.
Being the champion jockey for a record 7th season, he amassed 79 wins and earnings of HK$16 million, with a 26% win and 57% place share, and also won the Bonus Cup on Cumberbatch.
Panamanian-born Luis Corrales won his first Macau Jockeys premiership in the 2012-13 season, which he held for four years until 2016-17 before retaining it in the 2019-20 season and has held it ever since.
A graduate of the Macau Jockey Club Apprentice School and the only locally trained jockey to win the Senior Jockeys Premier League, he was Champion Apprentice in 1999 and 2000.
Racing with Bygone Era in the black and white quartered silks is Tam Via Lam, who also finished the season as Macau’s main owner with his 6 horses winning 12 races and $3.15 million in stakes.
In the Barrier 9 drawing, Bygone Era has Macau Derby Trial winner Yuanno outside him at 12 for Japanese-born rider Masa Tanaka, trainer Rick Choi and owner Yuan Wenzhong,
With the Macau Derby Trial being a prelude to the Triple Crown series, Yuanno was third to Cheers Brothers in the Derby and was a long second to Bygone Era in the Macau Guineas.
With Macau’s Leading Racehorse in Desi Prince not accepted into the Macau Gold Cup, it is now open for the four-year-old colt Bravo Cyclone to seal victory and become the Champion Racehorse for 2021-22.
Bravo Cyclone has won his three previous starts, second to Desi Prince in the Macau Star of Sand Stakes over 1600 and previously third to Star of Yiu Cheng in the President’s Challenge Cup.
With jockey Roger Lu jumping from 7 and in the red and white colors of Li Yong, it’s the family of Singapore’s Grand Jury Champion, Flying Childers Stakes winner Sir Prancealot.
The exciting trainer’s Premiership also ends on Sunday with Tony Fung leading the way with 39 wins and with a 15% win and 33% place ratio his runners have earned $8.29 million in betting.
Moving one win ahead of Stanley Chin with 38 wins and the top earner at $8.8 million, it could be all the way to the finals, where both have emergency receivers.
However, there is talk of Champion Apprentice Xiao Chuan Liang, who also placed fourth in the Champion Jockey table with his 24 winning rides and has Electroplate Alloy in the Gold Cup.
The product of a successful jockey training program to retrain former jockeys and riders to fill the void created by COVID-19, he also rode successfully in Beijing and Guangdong.
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