Annual Chairmen’s Day At Sha Tin On Saturday

The annual Chairmen’s Day at Sha Tin is this weekend’s fixture, with almost all races carrying a trophy donated by a former chairman of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

The Macwhinnie Cup sees the return of John Size-trained Sichuan Exec, who left such a big impression winning his only start two weeks ago, and Size has wheeled out some other big guns for the day though unbeaten Sea Dragon misses the Li Cup after coming up with a fever.

That leaves the way clear for John Moore-trained Sea Diamond, considered by many a good thing beaten behind Sea Dragon last time when he struck traffic problems.

Tommy Berry has the prized seat on Sea Diamond, with regular rider Weichong Marwing being suspended. The key will be how Sea Diamond handles 1,600m after assembling an excellent record of four wins at 1,400m. Late last season, Moore tried Sea Diamond at the mile and he was too immature to handle it, overracing when well beaten, but the trainer has always held that the son of Anabaa will get 1,600m.

It is one of a number of good rides for Berry from the Moore camp – he also rides Maroon Prince in the fifth and Approve in the sixth.

Paul O’Sullivan has had just one winner since late January, but will open the day with Quiet Confidence and Sunny Pearl as winning chances in the first two races.

Quiet Confidence won a 1,200m at Sha Tin in the bottom grade earlier this season and drops back to Class Five with the winning jockey, Olivier Doleuze, getting back on board.

Sunny Pearl has been a big disappointment despite earning a cheque in three of his five starts, as he looked highly promising at the trials before his racing career commenced, and O’Sullivan has called on Zac Purton to change his fortunes.

By Nathan Mody

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