Winning any upper grade trophy with the top weight is a good ask but Horse Of Fortune looks to have the form to do it in the Group Three January Cup (1,800m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
The last horse to carry 133 pounds and win the race was Bull’s Eye back in 2004 and a few good ones have tried since and found it beyond them, so the Tony Millard-trained Horse Of Fortune (Silvestre de Sousa) isn’t getting things easily even though the drop from the Hong Kong Cup looks ideal.
The gelding’s sixth to Maurice backed up a surprise Ladies’ Purse win in November, when he did plenty of work in the run and held on, as he did sitting in the first half dozen on international day while A Shin Hikari carved out a mad tempo in the lead.
There was every reason to expect him to drop out, but Horse Of Fortune boxed on well to beat home half the field in a race where he wasn’t expected to be competitive.
It augurs well for the class drop and Horse Of Fortune has drawn well in gate two to either lead or more likely get a nice tag behind likely leader, lightweight Packing Dragon (Keith Yeung Ming-lun). He has the shown a liking for Happy Valley with wins in four of nine runs there and for the 1,800m distance, where he has had three runs for two wins and a second – with a lighter handicap, Horse Of Fortune would be looking a good thing.
An interesting runner is Helene Super Star (Neil Callan) who has plummeted from a rating of nearly 120 when he finished seventh in this race last year and he looks well handicapped.
His recent runs, including a terrible effort behind Horse Of Fortune in November, are well below his capabilities but he did show a glimpse of form in October behind horses he meets again tonight like Harbour Master and Basic Trilogy and a repeat of that would see him in the finish.