By David Morgan – HKJC
Aldo Domeyer isn’t letting the grass grow under his feet. The South African only touched down in the city two days ago and already he has his first Hong Kong brace in the bag.
“Two wins on my first night, I couldn’t ask for much better!” he said.
Prance Dragon (130lb) carried the jockey to a momentous first in race five – section two of the Class 3 Cheung Sha Wan Handicap (1200m) – just half an hour after his debut ride at Happy Valley tonight (Wednesday, 1 May). Arcada delivered the double in the finale, section two of the Class 3 Hung Hom Handicap (1650m).
“I think it matters that the first winner is in the winner’s box. I couldn’t ask for a better start and let’s hope it continues,” he said after nicking the spoils on Prance Dragon, by a short-head from Loving A Boom (125lb).
“I heard some notorious things about Happy Valley, about the course catching you out, but I just played it on merit and it seemed to pan out quite well. I must say the horses I rode here were in very nice condition so credit to Mr. Millard for that,” Domeyer said.
Trainer Tony Millard provided the rider with all three of his mounts on the eight-race card, and, after steering C P Power to seventh-place in the fourth, Domeyer repaid his compatriot’s support twice over.
“I didn’t have the best of breaks,” he said of his breakthrough ride on Prance Dragon, “but I found myself in a comfortable position and it was just a matter of choosing a nice run, finding a bit of balance and the rest just panned out quite nicely. It looked like the second horse was going to run right past him, which he did, but we just started holding a bit of momentum and fighting back and we got our nose down where it counted the most.”
And it was a similar story with Arcada (124lb). The five-year-old responded to Domeyer’s drive, dipping his nose right on the line to snare the verdict by a short-head from runner-up Vigor Fame (114lb).
“This was the one that I worked and I felt was really well. I just needed to warm him up and get him into the groove, he went down with his ears pricked and he was full of confidence,” the rider said.
“He was always going nicely; it was a matter of getting a nice run home. Once I asked him for a little bit extra and put the stick in the left he gave me and he fought down and got there when I needed him to.”
Domeyer is hoping to build on his good start.
“You always want to find a bit of momentum, there’s nothing like momentum to keep building up on something, it’s been a nice start and now it’s up to me to capitalise on it,” he said.
“You don’t want to put too much expectation on it otherwise you set yourself up to be let down a little bit. If you take things in your stride it just makes the job a little bit easier, so that you can slow things down a little bit. I just tried to do the basics and I’ll try the same thing with the next and see where that takes us. I don’t want to put a limit or a cap on what I’m trying to achieve, I’m going to go race by race to try to do as well as I can.”