Mossman’s speed machine Wonder Mossman proved he is just that; a real wonder horse as he stamped himself as one of Macau’s greatest ever when he simply destroyed his rivals to take out his third straight Macau Gold Cup (MAC Gr 1, 1500m) on Sunday.
The rising eight-year-old went into the race under a fitness cloud with a very light preparation after breaking down in the Autumn Trophy (MAC Gr 2, 1600m) on the sand last November, writes Harry Troy.
It has been a truly remarkable training effort by Kin Chong to get the gelding back to the race track and Wonder Mossman soon shrugged off any doubts about his fitness as he sped away from the gates under jockey Horace Lam. The powerhouse galloper set up his usual commanding lead to break the field up from the outset, before Lam let the big gelding roll on from the 600 metres and it was simply game over.
At the line it was Wonder Mossman by five and a quarter lengths from Golden Double (One Cool Cat), with another Mossman Master Of Puppets two lengths back in third.
There were plenty back in November that wrote the gelding off and the talk was that retirement was inevitable. However that was never going to faze Kin Chong and he simply rested the gelding before he embarked on regime of long trotting work morning and afternoon.
Kin Chong speaks very little English but through his friend and fellow trainer Victor Chan he said the following.
“First I rested him for four months. He is a big horse at times over 1250 pounds but I gradually lightened him off to help take some pressure off his bad leg and he went into yesterday’s race at 1200 pounds.
“I gave him lots of long trotting work and then I trailed him on the sand on 5 April without any pressure.
“I wasn’t that happy with him then so I bought him back to the track last week for a good jump out and let him stride along well after.”
Jockey Horace Lam described the horse as ‘just the greatest’, after the victory gave Lam his second Macau Gold Cup.
Wonder Mossman is the only horse in the Macau Jockey Club’s 27 year history to win three Macau Gold Cups. Horace Lam was on top for his first cup victory in 2014 with the race then over 1800 metres. Cash Wong piloted the horse to a massive eight lengths victory in 2015 recording a cracking 1:46.9 for the 1800 metres which was identical to his time the previous year.
The gelding clocked 1:26.6 for Sunday’s race which was run over 1500 metres for the first time. The track came up surprisingly good after some nice drying out days following heavy rain early in the week. The son of Mossman (Success Express) holds the 1500 metres track record of 1:24.9 that he set back in 2014.
We have had some wonderful racehorses in the enclave. Horses like our first international winner in Dubai Active Bobo (Atlantic Flyer), the electrifying Natural Blitz (Maroof) who later went on to win the Hong Kong Sprint (Gr 1, 1200m), the speedy Viva Pronto (Catcher In The Rye) and so many more.
None however have thrilled the crowds as much a Wonder Mossman.
His hard running style where his breaks up the field early with his brilliant speed, and then goes on to crush the hearts of his rivals with his great stamina at the end of his races, has captured the hearts of local racegoers.
The geldings 36 starts in Macau have yielded 14 wins, eight placings and returned his owners HK$6,500,000 in prize money.
Race favorite Sandtop (Henrythenavigator) disappointed under jockey Leo Salles failing to run on, whilst Macau – Hong Trophy (MAC Gr 1, 1500m) winner Best Of Luck (Thorn Park) who was put into a perfect spot third the rails from barrier 12, also compounded in the straight to finish a well beaten ninth almost ten lengths away.