Owners Julian Cheung and Aaron Kwok with My Favorite.

Canto-pop star Kwok knows his racing, too

The Caspar Fownes-trained My Favorite brought a mainstream media circus to the racetrack - the three-year-old is partly owned by Canto-pop idol Aaron Kwok Fu-shing - and the youngster didn't disappoint the swarming paparazzi when he broke through at his second start.

A heaving media throng crowded around Kwok for nearly 20 minutes after the race and the entertainer gladly shared his time. It was Kwok's second winner this season after Calling With Love saluted last September and sparked a similar scene.

Fownes called My Favorite "a next season horse", but even Kwok was showing off some racing insight after the victory. "He ran a great time in defeat last time out and I thought if he could produce an effort like that and run similar time again he would win," he said.

Sure enough, My Favorite ran 1.09.62 for 1,200m when second to Creative Union and this time ran a near identical time - just six-hundredths of a second slower - in victory.

On debut, My Favorite blew the start when he struck his head in the gates and then ended up a long way back before running home for an unlucky second. This time the youngster was able to show excellent tactical speed to get into a prominent position from gate 12.

"He pinged the lids today, put himself in great spot and travelled like the winner all the way," Purton said. "He may have not been that impressive today, but in end got the job done and he is another relatively inexperienced horse and he'll certainly be better next season."

Fownes said the knock to the head last start hadn't just cost My Favorite a position in the run but had rattled the newcomer.

"Today we wanted to go forward, but last start that's where we thought we would be in the run," he said. "But he bumped the gate pretty badly. Tommy Berry said he hit it hard and when he came out he took a hundred yards for him to sort himself out. He came back from that and did it nicely today. I told Zac to warm him up, jump him out, go forward and let's see what he can do."

Even though Purton had some doubts about a jump in grade, Kwok was unconcerned, understanding his new acquisition needs time.

"I think he showed a lot of heart today," he said. "Maybe in the future he can make the jump into Class Three. I had a lot of confidence in this horse - I wanted to say to the people though, don't bet too much, bet just for fun."

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Canto-pop star Kwok knows his racing, too