Win and you’re in for World Famous but Yiu has Derby doubts

Michael Cox


Michael Cox’s Derby Watch

In the lead-up to the 2020 Hong Kong Derby, Michael Cox will provide analysis for Hutchi’s Honkers as the next generation of stars builds up to the big race on March 20. The four-year-old series began with the Hong Kong Classic Mile on January 27, continued with the Hong Kong Classic Cup on February 23 and culminates with the Derby on March 22.




It looks like a case of “win and you’re in” for Derby eligible import World Famous at Happy Valley tonight, but trainer Ricky Yiu says his four-year-old is no certainty to accept even if successful in the Class 3 Queensway Handicap.

As it stands, World Famous is rated 80 and on the outside looking in when it comes to the likely final field for next weekend’s Hong Kong Derby.

A win in tonight’s final race would put World Famous in the 14-horse field but Yiu has reservations about throwing the well-tried French-bred into Hong Kong’s most prestigious race.

“Let’s see how he goes, obviously a win or a good performance would put him in contention for a start but I do have some doubts,” Yiu said.

World Famous was seventh against the Derby aspirants in the Hong Kong Classic Cup last month and finished ahead of higher rated candidates Savvy Nine, Private Secretary and Reliable Team.

News that Beauty Legacy would not push on to the Derby leaves the race with few genuine chances but Yiu was still reticent about the chances of World Famous, which has won two from 14 since arriving from France.

“We will speak to the owners straight after the race but even if he wins I think the Derby might be too competitive for him and too strong,” Yiu said.

The trainer was optimistic about a strong run tonight despite barrier 12 meaning five-pound claimer Victor Wong will have a big job to do from the widest gate on the on-pace runner.

The Derby field will be finalised on Thursday.




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