Hong Kong Diary

The HK racing season is moving into top gear and Caspar Fownes is proving a major force in big races. The man dubbed 'King of the Valley' has six runners at the city track this Wednesday on a nine-race card which will be live on Sky Sports racing from 10.45 onwards.

  • Wednesday 06 November
  • Blog
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Fownes and Sanna combine to steal the Purse

Two weeks after one of his stable stars mastered the mighty Beauty Generation, Caspar Fownes performed another giant killing act at Sha Tin on Sunday when Southern Legend lowered the colours of HK's champion middle distance performer Exultant.

Southern Legend followed the lead of stablemate Rise High, battling on gamely to master the front-running Time Warp and Exultant in the Sa Sa Ladies' Purse, and in doing so the 27-1 shot gave Italian rider Alberto Sanna his biggest HK success so far.

Injuries halted Sanna's progress last season but a new training regime and support from the likes of Fownes and Douglas Whyte have turned his fortunes around in recent months.

"It was great for Alberto to ride his first winner for me," said Fownes. "He's done so well with all the accidents he's been through, no-one has been through more than him."

Sanna now looks set to keep the ride on Southern Legend while Tony Cruz was more than happy with Exultant, who stayed on powerfully for third and will now step up to a more suitable 2000m for the G2 Hockey Club Cup on November 17th.

Rev on a roll as Purton seeks to bounce back

Exultant’s defeat played its part in a second consecutive Sha Tan shutout for Zac Purton on Sunday and the champion jockey needs to move into top gear now that Joao Moreira has opened up a lead of ten at the top of the jockeys’ table.

Zac Purton

High Rev is therefore a well-named partner as the Aussie heads back to Happy Valley on Wednesday night and David Hall’s gelding will be a warm order to follow up a commanding course and distance success in the Jaffe Handicap at 11.45.

Hall says the Fastnet Rock gelding was “a bit of a rat” in his early HK days but being gelded has helped him thrive.

“Zac gave him one round the backside last time and he took off,” added Hall. “He’s ready to go again and, the way he’s winning, you’d be disappointed if he didn’t make it into Class 2.”

More Than This the latest Fahey import to shine

Star sprinter Peniaphobia and G3 winner Simply Brilliant (formerly known as Senator) have both flown the Richard Fahey flag in HK and More Than This is the latest Musley Bank graduate to make the grade after completing a hat-trick in dramatic fashion at Sha Tin on Sunday.

The Dutch Art gelding was unbeaten in three for Fahey as a juvenile, signing off with a Glorious Goodwood success, and is being talked of as a HK Derby contender after showing real courage to beat some bang-in-form Class 2 handicappers under Karis Teetan despite a tough trip.

A 7lb rise for Sunday's success leaves More Than This rated 90 - still some 10lb below the level needed of a viable Derby hope - but he's clearly thriving and can progress again granted smoother sailing.

Hong Kong Diary
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