Casper Fownes has been in the headlines with new acquisition Packing Whiz landing a Group event on the weekend and the promotion of assistant Chris So Wai-yin to trainer and it won't be long before Royal Partner finds himself in the spotlight.
Royal Partner once again caught the eye with a solid fourth in the Class Three Dongzhimen Handicap (1,000m) at Happy Valley behind Gold Edition after being hard ridden earlier on. He then got his head on the side and lost ground before making the turn, switched to the rails underneath tiring Bould Mover at the 200m, before hitting the line with plenty of purpose, with the final 400m split in 22.76 seconds on the good-to-yielding surface.
The four-year-old arrived on a mark of 86 from the Mick Price stable in Australia following two wins and three placings from eight starts. After getting his Hong Kong career off to a poor start, Royal Partner put the writing on the wall last time over 1,200m at Sha Tin following a strong 41/4 lengths sixth to the smart Sea Dragon.
He is a son of the terrific Starcraft and Danehill mare Hill Of Peace. Starcraft had a storied career, chalking up 11 wins from 1,400m to 2,400m. His wins included three Group Ones in Australia and in Europe.
His local progeny includes two winners, Supreme Knight (four wins from 1,200m to 1,600m at Sha Tin) and Cape Canaveral (three wins over the 1,200m at the Valley), from five other performers. Hill Of Peace was a winner at 2,000m in France and multiple placed up to 2,200m and is a half-sister to a few black-type winners over a route in Ireland and France. She also produced three other winning foals over a range of 1,200m to 1,800m.
Royal Partner is coming to hand now and should be kept safe over 1,000m at the Valley to 1,400m at Sha Tin on either type of going. It's also worth noting he was effective with a tongue tie and blinkers on in Australia.