Caspar Fownes is definitely in the hunt for the trainers' premiership, despite failing to land a blow at Sha Tin, but he must have come away delighted by the debut performance of My Favorite in the Class Four Sandberg Gold Cup (1,200m).
My Favorite was groomed in New Zealand by trainer Nigel Tiley where he easily won a barrier trial over 1,000m on September 4 and since his arrival in mid-February, the three-year-old showed a nice turn of foot in all three heats at Sha Tin and at Happy Valley over a 25-day period.
The gelding, who is owned by Aaron Kwok Fu-sing and some of his actor friends, was kept safe in the betting at 6-1 with Tommy Berry aboard.
Berry lunged out a bit at the start, was then niggled to hold a position behind midfield and on the rails and stuck to the paint upon straightening. My Favorite then peeled off tiring trio of Star Of Wai Bo, Regency Champion and Ocean Roar at the 200m and responded nicely to come up a bob of the heads second behind in-form four-time winner Creative Union.
He is by Haradasun and Danehill mare Crimson Lane and had gone through the New Zealand Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale in 2011 for NZ$30,000 (HK$192,000).
Fusaichi Pegasus stallion Haradasun was a consistent performer, hitting the board in 15 of 18 starts, including a win in Britain over Darjina and Finsceal Beo in the Group One Queen Anne Stakes (1,600m) at Royal Ascot in 2008. His only two other starters in Hong Kong, the lightly raced King Haradasun (twice third from four starts) and Sante Fe Sun (once a fifth from two starts over 1,200m) were also inclusions in the Black Book.
Crimson Lane was successful over 1,300m at Kembla Grange and twice-placed up to 1,400m from nine starts in Australia. She hasn't produced anything special from her two other foals, but she is a half-sister to Crimson Reign, who achieved three black-type wins as a sprinter.