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Frankie Lor eyes championship push, Master Eight G3 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy bound

Tue 21st Dec 2021, 15:27

Frankie Lor
Hong Kong Jockey Club

By Declan Schuster
Looking to capture a maiden training title and repel the recent onslaught of his former mentor John Size, Frankie Lor has armed himself with a strong team of seven at Happy Valley this Wednesday evening (22 December), which includes a trio of in-form course specialists.

“I have a few horses running at Happy Valley, they have good form but some have a bad draw, so we’ll need some luck,” Lor said.

Since the beginning of December, Size has swiftly knocked up 10 wins to Lor’s three; he now sits just two wins behind Lor, trailing 25 to 27 ahead of the season’s 30th fixture.

Lor’s representatives at the midweek programme include the reliable Savvy Kingman in the Class 3 Marble Handicap (2200m). The son of Kingman has been a model of consistency across 14 starts in Hong Kong with nine top-three finishes, including three wins — all at the city circuit.

“This season he is always in really good form, a few times he’s raced over 1800 (metres) but this time we’re stepping up to 2200 (metres) and with his pedigree, I’m sure he can handle it,” Lor said.

The 73-rater was caught late by Tianchi Monster over 1800m at Class 3 level last start; this time he steps away from gate three with Harry Bentley engaged.

Later on the card, course and distance specialist We The South contests the Class 2 Fort Handicap (1000m), bidding for back-to-back wins and his seventh success at Happy Valley.

“He just loves Happy Valley, only the 1000 metres but not 1200 metres, at Sha Tin on the dirt 1200 metres is ok, so I don’t know why he can’t do it at Happy Valley,” Lor said of his smart on-pacer.

We The South (121lb) pairs with Jerry Chau from gate four against nine others. He comes into the race following a win in personal best time, clocking 56.39s over 1000m at the city circuit.

In the finale, the first section of the Class 3 Java Handicap (1200m), Lor has Flaming Passion chanced with notching a hat-trick of wins. Matthew Chadwick retains the ride from gate 11 with 115lb allotted as he rises in grade.

This morning (21 December), both Healthy Happy and Master Eight trialled on the dirt, with Lor targetting respective feature races on 1 January at Sha Tin with the duo.

Lor indicated that Healthy Happy will contest the G3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup Handicap (1400m), while the unbeaten Master Eight will tackle the G3 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy Handicap (1000m).

“This is the last trial for Healthy Happy — Alexis (Badel) said he is in good form, I’m not saying he’s 100 percent but every trial he has improved,” the handler said.

Healthy Happy clocked 1m 12.55s in third behind Duke Wai over 1200m on the dirt, while Master Eight clocked 1m 02.99s, also in third but behind Handsome Guys over 1050m.

Master Eight — a son of Oamaru Force — kicked off his career in Hong Kong four starts ago on debut in Class 4. He prevailed with ease last time out in Class 2, maintaining an unblemished record and earning a current mark of 95.

Wednesday’s (22 December) nine-race fixture at Happy Valley kicks off at 6.45pm with the Class 5 Whitfield Handicap (1650m).