Schutz scores again as renaissance continues
Report: Hong Kong, Wednesday
ANDREAS SCHUTZ thoroughly exorcised the demons of a disappointing 2009/10 campaign by sending out his 13th winner of the current season to reach the minimum performance criteria expected of every trainer in Hong Kong with 50 meetings to spare before the end of the season.
The four-time championtrainer in Germany reached the landmark when he teamed up successfully with star French rider Maxime Guyon for the third time in as many meetings when Forever Elation (formerly High Alert for Jeremy Noseda in 2008) edged the Class 3 Ko Yee Handicap at odds of 12/1.
Andreas Schutz has transformed the fortunes of his stablePICTURE: Martin Lynch
With less than half the total horses at his disposal compared to some of the more powerful stables at Sha Tin, Schutz's transformation has been one of the success stories of the season to date and his win-to-runs ratio is the second best in town behind John Moore.
On the subject of the bigger yards, things are getting tighter at the top of the trainers' championship after Tony Cruz prepared a double to join Moore at the summit with 27 winners after Value Choice (Gerald Mosse) and Splendid Champion (Matthew Chadwick) eked out narrow victories.
Value Choice was subject of a heavy gamble with around £260,000 dumped on him in win bets in the final 90 seconds of betting to slash his odds from over 5-1 to a payout of 9-4.
Another coup came off two hours later when Amedeo (Tony Millard/Greg Cheyne) led from pillar to post to justify a betting move that crunched his price from 11-1 to a little over 4-1 on the tote.
Despite an unusually quiet run during November and December, Caspar Fownes sits just one win off the pace following Flying Supreme's determined lunge in the best quality event on the programme, the Class 2 mile, which also gave Mosse a double on the night and jockey challenge honours.
French riders were responsible for half the winners on the card as Olivier Doleuze also got in on the act as Noble De Best (Gary Ng) lifted a Class 4 sprint midway through the evening.