'BAD FUNG SHUI' REASON BEHIND GOOD BA BA STABLE SWITCH

HERE’S a problem that Australian trainers don’t have to contend with just yet.

The transfer of champion Hong Kong galloper, Good Ba Ba, from the Andreas Schutz stable to trainer Derek Cruz has been blamed on ‘bad fung shui.’

The South China Morning Post reports that controversial owner John Yuen Se-kit has told a family friend that he was moving Good Ba Ba because ‘all his good luck with Schutz may have been used up.’

Yuen, an advocate of ‘fung shui’ has a colorful history as an owner in Hong Kong. He has raced three horses, the first being Dr Win in 1999-2000. After six winless starts with Ricky Yiu Poon-fie, Dr Win was moved to Tony Millard and won two races for the South African trainer.

His second horse, Run And Win, started with Millard but was moved to Wylie Wong Wai-lit after three starts. The grey then had four starts with Manfred Man Ka-leung, moved to John Size for three outings and then returned to Man for four more runs before leaving him for the second time at the end of that season.

Run And Win then had a full season with Brian Kan Ping-chee before moving to Peter Ho Leung and, finally, went back to the future to Millard – a total of eight trainer moves in a 46-start career.

It was Millard who selected Good Ba Ba for Yuen at the Hong Kong International Sale, after Run And Win retired. However, he only got to enjoy being the gelding's pre-trainer as the future champion moved to Alex Wong Yu-on prior to his debut.

Wong took him all the way through to Class One, picking up the Champion Griffin award along the way, before losing him to Schutz in late 2006. The Lear Fan gelding's full record is 15 wins, five seconds and two thirds from just 23 starts, and his earnings of HK$48,161,500, make him the fifth-largest prize money winner among Hong Kong-trained horses, behind only Vengeance Of Rain, Viva Pataca, Silent Witness and Bullish Luck.

Good Ba Ba won 10 of 16 domestic starts, plus two unplaced runs in the 2007 and 2008 editions of the Yasuda Kinen in Tokyo, for Schutz. He will today (Wednesday, August 12) join the Cruz stable.

“The owner rang me out of the blue and asked me to train Good Ba Ba this season,” Cruz told the South China Morning Post. “It was a very big surprise, for sure, but I'm extremely happy to be given an opportunity to train a wonderful horse like this.

“Of course, it's unfortunate for the previous trainer but that’s Hong Kong racing – we all get to experience both sides of it. Yuen could have chosen any trainer at Sha Tin and I’m grateful he’s chosen me. An offer like this is not something you can say no to,” Cruz said.

Schutz is on holiday in his native Germany. His assistant trainer, Ricky Chung Chim-ki, knew nothing about the proposed move of the stable's flagship horse. “The boss is away until the middle of August, I don't know anything about this,” Chung said, though he later confirmed the move after telephoning Yuen.

The sacking of Schutz is the second major personnel change in the space of eight months for Good Ba Ba, winner of six Group One races including the last two editions of the HK$16 million Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile.

Last December, jockey Olivier Doleuze was replaced by Christophe Soumillon after Good Ba Ba finished third to Egyptian Ra in the International Mile Trial.

 

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