Paul O’Sullivan landed only his eighth win of a difficult campaign when Merrygowin got the run of the race to capture Wednesday night's Class 4 Rotary Centenary Challenge Cup Handicap (1650m) in Hong Kong.
But the handler is not one for feeling pressure’s pinch - “I’ve been here too long” - and believes he has plenty to look forward to in the coming months.
“I’ve got a lot of young horses about to step out and a few of them look alright, too,” the Kiwi said.
“I predicted I was going to have a tough first half – not quite this tough – I looked at the horses and knew they had to come down the handicap before they could win. But I’m pretty happy with the young ones – it’s just a matter of being patient and keeping your head on your shoulders.”
Merrygowin tracked the front-running Glory Star and kicked on in the straight for a grinding win over the unfortunate runner-up Naboo Star – Purton’s mount got tied up in traffic on the final turn but stormed to within half a length at the line.
“He’s an honest horse,” O’Sullivan said of the winner. “He ran well in Class 3 two starts back, he drew the gate tonight and things fell into his lap. He’s going to go back up to Class 3 and do his best.”
Karis Teetan drove the O’Sullivan gelding to victory and the Mauritian was busy again in the last contest, pushing vigorously to snag the Class 3 Tsuen Wan Handicap (1650m) on the Tony Millard-trained Arcada. -HKJC