Jerry Chau looking ahead to big week as Chill Chibi returns in Hong Kong Classic Cup


By Declan Schuster


Jerry Chau is running hot and the young rider is hoping to up the ante with a pair of key mounts across the next two fixtures in Hong Kong.


He partners impressive talent Chill Chibi in Sunday¡¦s (3 March) HK$13 million Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) at Sha Tin and debut winner Super Joy N Fun in the second section of Wednesday¡¦s (28 February) Class 4 Tsuen Wan Handicap (1200m) at Happy Valley.


¡§Everything is well and Chill Chibi is running in the Hong Kong Classic Cup this Sunday ¡V I¡¦m very much looking forward to that,¡¨ Chau said.


Chau has been in super form this campaign with 18 wins from 49 race meetings, four shy of last season¡¦s 22 triumphs. He has a quartet of victories from the past five fixtures.


Chill Chibi is one-for-one over the Hong Kong Classic Cup distance and is a four-time winner from six starts at Happy Valley. He debuts at Sha Tin this weekend and the 23-year-old is hopeful the Wrote gelding can continue to progress.


¡§He galloped this morning (Tuesday, 27 February) on the turf and it seemed like he enjoyed Sha Tin. Of course, he missed the run (Hong Kong Classic Mile) last time but now he¡¦s back to normal work and he¡¦s galloping good. He¡¦s not 100 percent yet but I think he will run well and bring better form into the Derby,¡¨ Chau said.


The four-year-old suffered a setback in January and was ruled out of Hong Kong Classic Mile contention. He has since trialled over 1200m on dirt under Chau, finishing fifth behind stablemate Romantic Warrior.


¡§He had a long break before the season started and still won first-up. I think he liked the fresh run. He always shows his turn of foot and I think he¡¦s looking for a longer distance,¡¨ Chau said. ¡§I think the Derby suits him more than the Classic Cup.¡¨


Chill Chibi is one of two entries in the Hong Kong Classic Cup for trainer Danny Shum, who also prepares Helene Feeling. The three-race Four-Year-Old Classic Series concludes on 24 March with the HK$26 million BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m).


Sporting the same silks as classy sprinter Joy And Fun ¡V who won in Dubai and at the top-level in Hong Kong ¡V first-up winner Super Joy N Fun returns to the races at Happy Valley.


¡§He showed in trackwork that he was still very green and still a baby but he showed speed and ran a good race last time,¡¨ Chau said. ¡§The good thing is that he jumped well and he could be forward with a good position.¡¨


Super Joy N Fun is a three-year-old trained by Benno Yung. The New Zealand-bred breaks from barrier seven with 134lb assigned tomorrow night.


The youngster tenaciously denied Beauty Infinity by a head at odds of 12/1.


¡§When the horse came at him, I felt like he went again, I think in Class 4 he¡¦s a very competitive horse and I hope he can keep improving ¡V in trackwork he is still very green,¡¨ Chau said. ¡§He looks around and shies away but he¡¦s a young horse, they¡¦re always like that and he will improve.¡¨


Chau also rides Nice Birdie, Precision Goal, Samarkand, Silver Sonic and Vulcanus at Happy Valley¡¦s midweek programme on Wednesday night (28 February), which commences at 6.40pm with the Class 5 Sai Kung Handicap (1800m).



Photo 1

Chill Chibi salutes under Jerry Chau.