Caspar Fownes did the seemingly impossible on Sunday afternoon in defeating Hong Kong’s champion Beauty Generation, but he faces an arguably tougher task on Wednesday night – getting Joyful Trinity to win.
The former John Moore import has not won for more than three years and comes off a recent tendon injury, but Fownes said there is possibly light at the end of the tunnel for the veteran galloper.
Joyful Trinity is a Group Three winner in both France and Hong Kong and boasts three Group One placings behind the likes of Helene Paragon and Beauty Only in the 2016-17 season.
With 32 Hong Kong starts under his belt, Fownes will take his seven-year-old to Happy Valley for the first time on Wednesday night in the Class Two Green Luck Handicap (1,650m) where he gets a favourable barrier four.
While he was beaten by 12 lengths at Sha Tin last start, Fownes said not to read into the poor performance too much.
“He just wouldn’t go last start, it rained and he wouldn’t have a bar of it,” he said.
“He is very fit so it wouldn’t surprise me if he just came out and went bang. All he wants is a good to firm track. It’s time for a change.”
Joyful Trinity showed signs of his old form in his first-up run this season at Sha Tin, running fifth behind King Opie despite over-racing badly in the run.
“His first run was outstanding because he pulled the whole way and he still kicked and only got beaten by two-and-a-half lengths and then he was disappointing [next start], but it was a complete forgive run,” Fownes said.
“First run at the Valley now. If he handles it, I am sure he will be competitive, if not we will bring him back here [to Sha Tin], there is a nice mile race in early November.
“He did a suspensory which put us off for a few months, he is an old horse but I still think he has something to give, maybe a little change of scenery might be enough to spark a bit of interest.”
Fownes will saddle up horses in seven of the nine races on the night as he looks to build on his winning total of six this season.
Ironically, Joyful Trinity will face another John Moore French import in Helene Charisma, who is enjoying a purple patch of form.
Formerly a Group One winner in France, Helene Charisma took 28 starts in Hong Kong to break his maiden status before going on to reel off three wins in seven starts, all at Happy Valley.
After bottoming out at a rating of 74, Helene Charisma is now rated 96 and will be forced to carry the top weight of 133 pounds in the race.
Jockey Zac Purton will also jump aboard Benno Yung Tin-pang’s Not Usual Talent for the first
time as the progressive type looks to land his biggest win yet.
The five-year-old enjoyed a dream debut season in Hong Kong last term, winning three of his last six starts.
Table-topping trainer Danny Shum Chap-shing will bring his Derby hopeful Playa Del Puente back to the city track as he looks to gain the much-needed ratings points to ensure a run in the four-year-old series features later this season.