Improving Hong Kong Fat ready to dazzle
Trainer Francis Lui Kin-wai may have a huge task to match his 25 wins of last season, but he has his horses looking in good order and Hong Kong Fat is no exception.
Lui has racked up 13 winners this campaign and has a ready-made winner in Hong Kong Fat following another positive performance in the Class Four Lancashire Handicap (1,650m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
The Irish-bred joined the local scene off a mark of 66 following a polytrack win over 1,400m at Dundalk and placings on the turf at The Curragh and Leopardstown from eight starts as Start The Party.
The gelding failed to acclimatise in his first season and, despite a 10-point drop during the summer reshuffle and with gear changes, the five-year-old appeared in need of his first-up run over an unsuitable 1,200m trip in November.
But following plenty of trotting, fast gallops, swimming and an improved trial outing at the city course, Hong Kong Fat returned to the same scene in January over the extended mile trip with a good fifth behind Happy Seven.
He then continued to display improvement in the mornings and resumed in March with a gallant fourth to Good Luck Win over the same trip and followed up this time to finish fifth to Brilliant Chariot after an all-time low of 41 under regular jockey Mar du Plessis. He was ridden early on to occupy a spot worse than midfield and on the rails, peeled one off the fence approaching the final bend, and was running on well to finish in the minor money.
Like most European imports, Hong Kong Fat is taking his time but is certainly on the right track to repay his connections.
He's a son of established sire Cape Cross, who is responsible for champion miler Able One, and an unraced Gulch mare that is a sister to champion English filly Harayir, a 1000 Guineas winner, and from the same family as Fat Choy Ichiban, a former Queen Mother Memorial Cup winner.