Improving Cheung heeds advice

Cambridge apprentice Ming Cheung gave credit to trainer and former jockey Darrell Lang after winning the Campbell Infrastructure 1200 at Rotorua yesterday.

It was Cheung’s third win of his career, but unfortunately his suspensions outweigh his number of wins. Cheung (21) has been suspended on four occasions and it has taken him a long time to get over a 14-day suspension he incurred 12 months ago.

That suspension was at Te Teko in August last year and it put a dampener on what should have been a very proud moment for Cheung, who had just won on Soirette for his boss, Shaune Ritchie. Cheung was found guilty of causing Road To Nowhere to stumble and lose rider Rogan Norvall inside the final 200 metres.

“When I caused Rogan to fall I lost a lot of confidence,” said Cheung. “Lately Darrel Lang has been helping me with my riding. He’s taught me a lot about getting in the right position and having more control.

“Jason Jago has been a big help, too, and so has Roger (Ritchie’s foreman Roger O’Neill).”

O’Neill was straight on the phone yesterday after Cheung won on The Paperboy for Cambridge trainer Sally House. “He’s happy for me,” said Cheung. “I feel I’m improving and hopefully I can soon get some more wins.”

Cheung was having his third ride on The Paperboy, a four-year-old son of Woodbury Lad, and yesterday’s win was well deserved by both horse and rider. The Paperboy had been runner-up three times with the latest placing being at Rotorua on May 28 when he and Cheung were beaten a nose by Pure Octaine.

“It was just too heavy for him last time when he ran fifth at Te Aroha,” said Cheung. “But this time it was just right.”

Cheung had The Paperboy tracking the pacemaker Rapid Gain, ridden by Matt Cameron, and coming to the home turn he was challenging for the lead. The Paperboy stuck on best to win by three-quarters of a length from Rapid Gain.

Cheung has been in New Zealand for 18 months and his previous experience had included riding trackwork for Tony Millard in his home country, Hong Kong.