Glorious Forever did a terrific impersonation of his full brother Time Warp when leading from barrier to box at Sha Tin on Saturday and while it is tough following in the footsteps of a multiple Group One winner, Frankie Lor Fu-chuen’s four-year-old has a chance to do it.
In a dominant display, jockey Zac Purton set a solid pace on the British import to take up the early running, continuing along at an even tempo before skipping away at the top of the straight and coming away to win by four lengths hard held.
It was clearly the performance of the meeting and left both his trainer and jockey impressed.
“There could be plenty of upside to him,” Purton said afterwards.
“He’s a lightly raced horse here in Hong Kong, he’s got a good racing style and he looks as if he still has a bit of improvement in him. He gave me a good feel, I was quite taken by him.”
While the manner of the win was outstanding – being a front-runner gives you plenty of advantages and helps minimise the role luck plays in a race – it was the time that provides the biggest pointer to future success.
Glorious Forever clocked 1:46.18 for the 1,800m trip, smashing the previous Class Three record by .53 of a second, which was set by Jolly Gene in March.
While it was still a little way off the track record of 1:45.41 set by Nassa in the Group Three Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse last year, it is worth noting Tony Millard’s charge only carried 115 pounds on that occasion.
In contrast, Glorious Forever lumped 128 pounds and still had plenty in hand with Purton never pulling the whip and keeping him under a tight rein for the last 150m.
That suggests the four-year-old still has plenty left to give and he has come along in leaps and bounds in his three runs in his new home.
It took Time Warp seven starts to land his first Hong Kong victory, but once he did he reeled off three in a row on his way to becoming a star, winning both the Hong Kong Cup and Hong Kong Gold Cup.
While Glorious Forever might not reach those heights, he still has improvement in him and looks more than capable of continuing his winning ways in the meantime.