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Kildare jockey Neil Callan and Mighty Giant had an all-the-way victory in today’s Group 2 The Chairman’s Trophy (1600m) at Sha Tin, Hong Kong.
The Ricky Yiu-trained runner, a market outsider against four opponents, claimed the HK$4.5 million feature race under a daring front-running ride from the forty-two-year-old Irish rider.
Southern Legend was runner-up, with More Than This back in third.
The victory was a third Chairman’s Trophy success for Callan following his previously wins on Beauty Only in 2016 and 2018.
Commenting on today’s win, the Kildare man said:
“It means a lot, everybody knows my situation but all I want to do is keep working hard, keep riding winners here in Hong Kong and the bigger winners, the better.
The New Zealand-bred Power gelding broke evenly from stall two, heading to the front at the 1100m mark. From there, the five-year-old was never headed on his way to a gritty half-length success under a fierce Callan drive.
First win at Pattern level
The win was Mighty Giant’s seventh from 15 starts. It was his first at Pattern level, however. He was previously placed third behind today’s favourite Waikuku in February’s Group 1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m).
Explaining his tactics for his 21st winner of the season, Callan said:
“At the corner, I just took a little tug on him. I knew he was going to give me a kick. The kick was his winning move. He just got two lengths on them and maintained it from the 200 metre mark.”
After finishing a distant last, favourite Waikuku was found with blood in his trachea post race. The former John Oxx-trained horse won a Group 1 on his last start.
On Wednesday, Neil Callan will have the status of his current Hong Kong licence reviewed. He will appear before the Licensing Committee in relation to his conduct during a Stewards’ inquiry last February.