There was something John Size-like about Frankie Lor Fu-chuen’s first-up winner Superich and now the first-year trainer is within sight of a Size record after his three-year-old’s soft debut win.
Superich caned his rivals in a 1,000m Class Four with something in hand, and winning like many of Size’s progressive Private Purchase Griffins have over the years.
The victory was Lor’s 44th of the season, equalling Caspar Fownes’ win total in his rookie campaign, and just 14 short of Size’s record for a first-year trainer set in his title winning 2001-02 term.
With 27 meetings remaining, a healthy strike rate and at least one more win seemingly at Superich’s mercy, 14 more wins should be within Lor’s reach.
Superich won the Sunday opener at Sha Tin in his career debut for Joao Moreira, his 90th of the season, and trainer Frankie Lor. This was the 10th win for that jockey/trainer combo from 28 starts this season. #HKracing pic.twitter.com/Y1uSauyZxY— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) April 8, 2018
Yet it seems Lor, a long time assistant to Size before this season, hasn’t just emulated his mentor’s horse-first, consistent training style, but a restrained manner when it comes to making predictions.
“I will try my best to get there and there are more races now than there were when John set that record,” Lor said.
The significance of the fact that Superich’s win was the first time the stable has produced a debut winner wasn’t lost on Lor.
“The challenge for me is that most of my wins have come from older horses in handicaps and they have all gone up in the ratings and it is not easy for them to win. So I need to look to the younger horses.”
One of those younger horses is clearly Superich and Lor believes the speedy type should handle his next assignment in Class Three.
“For now keep him at 1,000m, just to make him concentrate,” Lor said. “At this moment he is still a little keen. He is not easy to ride in the morning and quite strong. With more time and when he is more settled he can handle further than 1,000m. He has a few tricks, he was getting his head up in the air and that’s why we put a shadow roll on him in his third trial, that helped, and he was ready to go to the races.”
Moreira quickly made it a double on Glenealy Prize in an eventful second race in which Happy Friendship broke down badly and caused jockeys Douglas Whyte and Alberto Sanna to fall heavily.
Happy Friendship was later euthanised, but Whyte and Sanna remarkably fulfilled their riding commitments for the day.