FRANCIS Lui faces an all-important week, and the 63-year-old trainer will be hoping that any success at Happy Valley can act as a springboard for stable superstar Golden Sixty, as he seeks to defend his Champions Mile crown against heir apparent California Spangle on Champions Day at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Lui has consistently fired in winners all season, with his present total of 44 victories placing him fourth in the Trainers’ Championship, and it’s unusual he leaves a race meeting empty-handed.
The stable has an already impressive record at the city track this season, with 25 winners, and a notable 34 percent win and place record in six-furlong sprints.
Lui is represented in both divisions of the Cha Kwo Ling Handicap over six furlongs, by RISING FROM ASHES in the 12.45pm, and hat-trick seeking Scotch Tycoon at 2.45pm.
The former may be only small in size, but this Australian-bred galloper has shown enough ability in four races to warrant support.
There was lots to like about his performance back in February, when despite coming from an awkward draw he was closing strongly in the latter stages of the race, to finish a close-up seventh behind The Runner.
He bettered that performance earlier this month when again dashing late behind speedy and talented Whizz Kid over five furlongs, suggesting he is improving with experience.
This time with an all-important low draw number and the step up in distance in his favour, he should be in the perfect position to make his bid for glory.
Stablemate Scotch Tycoon has to defy a six-pound penalty for a last gasp win in March, but remains highly progressive, and looks guaranteed to go close again.
Rising From Ashes 12.45pm Happy Valley