Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year

Connections in line for riches with Express

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 November, 2011, 12:00am

Pemelar Fan Lau Yuk-ming - wife of Peter Fan Pong-cho, part owner of rising youngster Bear Hero - has yet to race anything as special under her own name, but she has a nice prospect in Bear Express.

Bear Express appeared underdone for his debut on Saturday despite plenty of gallops and a few trials and was left alone in the betting at 48-1 for Greg Cheyne, but made an encouraging debut in the Class Four Link Handicap over the straight 1,000m.

The David Hall-trained galloper wasn't flash into stride, settled third from the rear, veered inside off the hind quarters of Vital Smart passing the 400m and stretched out well in the final 50m to edge out Perpetual Kingdom for fifth - five lengths off impressive debut winner Jade Christy.

The three-year-old Australian-bred is a son of Group One Newmarket July Cup winner Stravinsky, who has produced 24 winners from 41 starters in Hong Kong, topped by the 115-rated Happy Valley specialist Our Lucky Baby; mated to Marscay mare Mariana, who was unplaced from five starts.

Mariana is a direct descendant of Bluebird mare Azzurro, a Group One winner of the VATC One Thousand Guineas, and half-sister to Class Three performer and double 1,200m Happy Valley winner Magic Sweep.

Bear Express is a half brother to three starters with Che Cosa, a son of Lucky Owners, a winner at 1,400m and 1,600m in Australia.

The gelding still has a lot to learn, but once he fully matures he should prove an effective sprinter/miler and be able to head higher off his opening mark of 52.

Fan's only other three starters were triple dirt winner Golden Dragon, double dirt mile winner Super Pegasus, and Bear Power, who was retired after one griffin run.

Elsewhere, Francis Lui Kin-wai hadn't had too many moments to cherish this season with a single winner from 68 starters before Super Goodies landed the opening race, but Divinity Power looks another winner waiting in the wings with a nice third behind Shiny Day in the Class Four Sunning Handicap (1,400m).

Divinity Power unwound nicely once turning for home to finish stride for stride with Mighty K over the final 100m. He finished a quarter-length off Mighty K and two lengths behind winner Shiny Day.

With two runs under his belt, the four-year-old son of Thorn Park should be ready to crack the win column. He is also one worth noting with a switch to Happy Valley, where many of his sire's progeny have shown a liking.