TRAINER Frankie Lor has the chance to all but wrap up the trainers’ championship when racing resumes with an eight-race programme at Happy Valley on Tuesday.
Lor – already six winners in front of nearest pursuer John Size with just half-a-dozen meetings remaining of the Hong Kong 21/22 season – looks to have a potential winning treble on the cards.
With his stable continuing to fire in winners on a regular basis – he has saddled seven winners from his last 50 runners – while Size has only produced a couple of wins in the past fortnight, it would be a brave man to bet against him winning his first championship.
The stable dispatch a handful of raiders to the inner-city track, led by hat-trick seeking GORGEOUS VITALITY, who has made a huge impression in recent times and now steps up in class in the Cleverly Handicap (3.50pm) over five furlongs.
This son of Deep Field blitzed his rivals when coming home alone over the track and trip at the beginning of May and produced a similar display, despite carrying a 10-pound penalty, three weeks later.
The handicapper obviously wasn’t happy, giving him another hefty weight rise for that victory, but there are reasons to believe this progressive and exciting galloper is getting better with experience.
He has only raced seven times and is capable of moving further up the ratings ladder.
It won’t be easy with the likes of Special M, Joyful Win and in-form Super Axiom in opposition, but hopefully when Zac Purton pushes the button entering the home stretch the response will be immediate.
Purton teams up with Lor earlier on the card, when he partners another son of Deep Field in Youthful Deal, who makes his debut in division two of the Rumsey Handicap (1.45pm) over six furlongs.
This Australian import, who won both his trials in his home country before being shipped to Hong Kong, looked to have the wow factor when winning a track trial with his ears pricked at the end of last month and could have a big future in front of him.
An outside draw could make things difficult on a track where inside numbers have a decided advantage in sprint contests, but he may have too much ability for his rivals.
A more attractive proposition from Lor’s stable, however, is MY ECSTATIC who seeks to follow up last month’s course and distance win in the Jervois Handicap (3.15pm) over the extended mile.
There was lots to like about this five-year-old’s resolution in the closing stages on his most recent start, when trying the extended mile trip for the first time and beating some in-form opposition with a bit in hand.
This looks a competitive handicap on paper with the likes of Escape Route, Nimble Nimbus and Win Win Fighter in opposition, but My Ecstatic is capable of improving again and defying his penalty.
My Ecstatic 3.15pm Happy Valley
Gorgeous Vitality 3.50pm Happy Valley