SHINING CHAMPION & HAPPY SPIRIT
28th September 2016
Price Bloodstock was doing it double time again at Happy Valley on Wednesday night, with Shining Champion finding his way back to the winner’s circle and Happy Spirit continuing to build a deceptively good record.
Shining Champion hadn’t won for almost two years and switched trainers to Richard Gibson in that time and the English handler was looking at the six-year-old with an air of optimism after his victory took his stake money earnings through $2 million.
“I always thought that the drop into Class Five would be his gig and his first run in the class was good and he came on for that,” Gibson said. “Neil Callan gave him a cool ride, he got the job done but when you look at the way he won, he was pretty comfortable at the finish so he might be able to go back up to Class Four and do it again while he’s in this form.”
There have never been any rave reviews for Happy Spirit but he now has 3 wins and 3 placings from his 11 starts and broke new ground by winning over 1,800m on Wednesday after his prior successes had been over the Happy Valley 1,650m.
The five-year-old made his own luck, as he tends to do, with Alvin Ng taking him to the front and rating him nicely.
“I was always confident that he would run a strong 1,800m and he hasn’t had the best luck when he tried it before,” said trainer Tony Cruz. “He’s a very honest horse, even though he isn’t a star. He won’t go up much in the ratings for that so his winning turn isn’t over.”