Frankie laying down the Lor as Derby dream comes true
It's Furore's BMW Hong Kong Derby: The Classic Mile winner gives Frankie Lor a first Derby success in just his second season as a trainer, quickening impressively under @HugeBowman then finding plenty as hot favourite Waikuku charges from the rear. #HKracing pic.twitter.com/tfR7LVoC09— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) March 17, 2019
Size joked in advance that he had perhaps taught Lor a little too well and the evidence is stacking up to suggest the Hong Kong system has produced its brightest training talent for many a year.
And the Lor story is a cracker. The son of a stable lad, he was brought up in the 1970s when HK had just one racetrack and horses made the steep walk down Shan Kwong Road each morning to exercise on the track at Happy Valley.
Lengthy spells assisting Size and fellow great John Moore gave him the sort of training education money can’t buy but he is making the very most of it with three G1s under his belt this season and a combined prize money total of ten million quid and counting.
Beauty mending fences for subdued Moreira
Moreira has suffered some short-priced reverses of late and misses Wednesday’s Valley meeting due to another suspension but the Brazilian made no mistake on the Size-trained Full of Beauty, who stretched his unbeaten run to five and clocked the fastest time of four 1200m races with another smooth Sunday success.
Full of Beauty makes it five out of five with another smooth success for John Size and Joao Moreira in R7 at Sha Tin and records the fastest winning time of the four 1200m races on the card. The BMW Hong Kong Derby is up next. #HKracing pic.twitter.com/l3scI41vTG— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) March 17, 2019
Never one to hype his horses, Size touched on the five in a row angle by saying “it’s hard to build a picket fence in Hong Kong.”
It’s harder still to complete a six timer but Full of Beauty doesn’t seem to do a lot more than necessary in front and could still be ahead of the game despite another 8lb rise for his latest success.
Dan can be the man again after impressive HK debut
British and Irish imports showed up strongly on Sunday's Sha Tin card both in the Derby and on a strong supporting card.
Sunny Speed - formerly Crack On Crack On for Clive Cox - excelled to finish third in the Derby at 86-1 and is clearly getting the hang of racing in HK.
Dan Control showed plenty of promise when known as Bruce Wayne for @MDOCallaghan in Ireland and marks John Moore's 69th birthday with an impressive winning Hong Kong debut under @zpurton in R2. #HKracing pic.twitter.com/Go5sz5MjWd— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) March 17, 2019
Former Glorious Goodwood winner Good Omen blossomed back over 2000m to win under Zac Purton, while Dan Control made a very bright start to his HK career under the champion with a fluent success in a Class 3 contest over 1200m.
Formerly known as Bruce Wayne when with Michael O'Callaghan, Dan Control travelled powerfully and settled matters quickly once asked to assert. He seems a flighty sort and had to be ponied to the start but his potential is clear to see under John Moore's tutelage.
Dragon can fire in battle of front runners
Wednesday’s main event at Happy Valley – namely the Happy Valley Vase at 12.15 – carries a strong Euro flavor with five of the eight runners imported from Ireland, England and France.
Circuit Glory looks one of the stronger options, but this looks a 7-2 the field race whichever way you shake it down and there could be more value to be found in a couple of horses later on.
The draw is the obvious starting point in the Ireland Trophy at 1.45 as those drawn 1-6 over 1000m on the Valley’s C track tend to finish placed twice as often as those drawn 7-12.
Racing’s draw gods have certainly smiled on the freewheeling Dragon Pioneer of late, as Manfred Man’s gelding has drawn the inside gate for the third race in a row.
A bold effort looks assured as a result, but the equally speedy Dragon Pioneer finished ahead of E-Super when chasing home the useful Little Bird here last month and looks the value call to do so again from stall 4 in a race where most of the field look hard to fancy.
A high draw can be equally problematic over 1650m at the Valley and the strong form claims of Harmony Hero in the Holly Handicap at 2.50 have to be set against the worrying fact that horses drawn 12 over this trip have a measly win and place rate of five and 14 per cent.
Brave Legend charges down the stands side to give @KarisTeetan and Tony Cruz a double on the night: Teetan goes to 54 for the campaign, two more than his previous season's best. #HKracing #HappyWednesday pic.twitter.com/cTyilwZvQg— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) February 27, 2019
The wide gate clearly poses problems for Neil Callan, but Umberto Rispoli is better berthed in stall 7 aboard Big Bang Bong, who has dropped to a good mark and looks a live each way player after catching the eye travelling strongly for a long way on his latest start here recently.