Atzeni, Mo Bid for Three Wins in a Row With Crystal Powerful

February 14, 2024

Andrea Atzeni is in the midst of a fine season (Hong Kong Jockey Club)

By Leo Schlink – HKJC

Entrenched in the top five of the Hong Kong jockeys’ championship, Andrea Atzeni is hopeful of extending a fine season when he chases a hat-trick of victories on Cody Mo-trained Crystal Powerful in the Class 4 Tsun Yip Handicap (1200m) at Happy Valley on Thursday night (15 February).

With 27 wins and 39 minor placings from 303 mounts, Atzeni sits behind only Zac Purton (65 wins), Karis Teetan (44) and Hugh Bowman (35) after 45 of 88 meetings and the Italian is optimistic Crystal Powerful can strike again tomorrow.

“He obviously won a Class 5 and he stepped up to Class 4 with a bit of a light weight (118lb) and he did it again, although when he hit the front, he was running around a little bit. I thought he did it quite well,” Atzeni said. “He’s still a little immature mentally. He just needs racing. Hopefully there’s a little bit more improvement.

“He obviously likes the track, the handicapper has put him up another seven pounds, he’s still in Class 4 with another nice weight. He’s won twice at the track, which is quite important and if we can overcome the draw (barrier 11), hopefully we can be competitive again.”

Unable to add to his tally of wins at Sha Tin on Monday (12 February), Atzeni had totalled 10 winners across his previous nine meetings and will take eight rides at the city circuit on Thursday.

Teetan believes Nicconi County can contend strongly for Caspar Fownes in the second section of Class 3 Mut Wah Handicap (1200m) after the gelding’s last-start short head triumph.

“His last win was good, so it’s nice to be able to ride him again. He actually had everything work his way last time – Caspar had him in really good form, the race panned out really well. Throughout the whole race, he switched on and he was good enough to win the race,” the Mauritian said.

“You would think he’s improved from that run and I hope he can run well again.”

Frankie Lor will launch a two-pronged assault on the Class 3 Yue Man Handicap (1800m) with All Beauty and Flamingo Trillion, hopeful the pair’s recent consistency will be rewarded.

Matthew Chadwick partners All Beauty from barrier eight as the gelding bids to improve on the three thirds and three fourths he has accumulated from six outings this season as he steps to 1800m for the first time in his career.

“Last few times, he’s had the outside draw and we’ve needed to take him back and he’s always finished strong so this time we’ll see how he goes at 1800m. It should be better for him,” Lor said.

Lor will unleash Flamingo Trillion for the first time in a race at Happy Valley under Derek Leung as the Wandjina four-year-old bids to better his narrow last-start second behind Sweet Encounter over 1600m at Sha Tin on 28 January.

“I trialled him before at Happy Valley and this time we go up to 1800m. He looks a little bit one-paced so the barrier (gate three) should help,” Lor said. “Both my runners should be okay.”

Thursday’s (15 February) nine-race card starts with the Class 5 Hung To Handicap (1200m) at 6.40pm.

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