Trainers’ championship dream far from over for Frankie Lor as he lands treble at Happy Valley




The dream of a first Hong Kong trainers’ championship may not quite be over for Frankie Lor Fu-chuen after he landed a treble on a rain-soaked night under the lights at Happy Valley.

Lor is now just five winners behind John Size approaching the final third of the season, but he insists his focus is not on the title.


“It’s great to train winners but I want to win for the owners, not because of the championship,” Lor said. “I’m pleased for the owners more than anything when the horses win. The stable is going well.”


Lor’s three wins at the Valley came with three different jockeys and Hong Kong Derby winner Karis Teetan was the first to benefit when he gave outsider Jade Phoenix a perfect front-running ride to salute in the first section of the Class Four Tseuk Luk Handicap (1,650m).


Sent off at $17 on a card that proved tricky for punters with just two favourites winning, Jade Phoenix clearly benefited from Lor’s decision to put cheek-pieces on with a gear change working the oracle.


Lor’s tinkering with equipment again paid off when Triple Triple improved for the application of a tongue-tie to land the first section of the Class Four Tai Yau Handicap (1,200m).


The five-year-old had placed just once in his seven starts this season but was given a superb ride from Blake Shinn, who saved every yard on the rail before shooting through to win a shade cosily.


Lor’s treble was completed as Harry Bentley copied the Shinn playbook to hug the inside rail aboard Smart Idea to beat favourite Seizing The Moment in the second section of the Class Three Sheung Hei Handicap (1,200m).


Vagner Borges rode his first winner for six weeks when steering Wild West Wing to victory in the second section of the Tai Yau Handicap.


It had been a long time between drinks for Borges, who was last in the winner’s enclosure at the Sha Tin meeting on February 3.


The Brazilian settled Wild West Wing behind a strong pace set by Zac Purton aboard Colonel and Joao Moreira on Happy Tango and he picked those rivals off easily in the straight before holding off late closers Euromissile and Hercules.


“The conditions weren’t too bad out there,” Borges said. “It’s just normal for me when it’s wet. It’s good to get another winner for Mr Size – he’s given me a lot of support.”


Size and Borges have struck up a fruitful partnership this season, with 13 of Borges’ 18 winners coming for the 11-time champion trainer.


Wild West Wing brought up a double for Size after he had earlier been successful when Savvy Delight burst through the field late on to win the Class Four Sze Mei Handicap (1,000m) under Joao Moreira.


Lucky Sweynesse took his unbeaten record to three when easily winning the first section of the Sheung Hei Handicap under Zac Purton.

Manfred Man Ka-leung’s three-year-old was forced to work hard early to get a decent position on the shoulder of front-runner Diamond Brilliant but displayed a good turn of foot in rain-softened ground to sprint clear of the field.


“It was a good effort, he travelled a bit strong through the first half of the race and then when we came down near The Rock, he wobbled a bit and might have lost his confidence in the track and lost his rhythm, so I had to click him up a little bit but he grabbed the bit and wanted to get going,” Purton said.


“He wobbled off the track a bit around the turn and then he wanted to hang in under pressure.


“He did a lot wrong tonight but he’s gone up a lot in the ratings very quickly, which for a young horse is not easy. I don’t think he was at home on the track either, so it was a good effort.”


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