Two meetings left in the Hong Kong season and still any one of three trainers can win the championship but John Size was dealt a blow on Thursday when he went winless and Sunday at Sha Tin’s final fixture is now or never time.
Tony Cruz won with his two runners midweek to hit the front before Yip not only took the lead again but added insult to injury by winning with expensive import Cheers Joy, his first run for Yip after being transferred from a disappointing career under Size.
Needing a treble to remain in contention, Size has a powerful chance in impressive debut winner Access Years in the eighth race on Sunday, but Yip again has numbers on his side.
Perfect Joy is fit and running well, backing up from his third last week and with barrier one in the opening race, and another honest trier, Hin Yuen Paladin, is dropping in grade in race two.
Yip is pulling all the strings, managing to get Jack’s Gem transferred from David Hall recently and the gelding looks a hope in the Class 5 over 1,600m while local maiden Jun Ju looks well placed back into Class Four.
This has been Yip’s secret – squeezing one more run, one more win out of average stock and, against the odds, it has kept his nose in front.
Off the track, Sunday will include awards to all the stars of the season, though the trainers’ trophy may have to wait until after Happy Valley next Wednesday given the closeness of the race.
But Yip will be expecting to go home a winner as highly-promising All You Wish lines up in the Racehorse Owners’ Trophy, the last race, looking to make it five wins from six starts and set himself for the top graders next season.
By Nathan Mody