Time Warp might already have two Group Ones to his name, but his younger brother Glorious Forever claimed some family bragging rights after smashing his 2,000m track record at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Frankie Lor Fu-chuen’s rising star clocked an astonishing 1:59.53 in the Class Two Hoi Ha Handicap, eclipsing the previous best by 0.44 of a second, which Time Warp set in the Group One Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup in February.
The most impressive part of the win was the way he went about it, with Zac Purton electing to taking a sit after Joao Moreira decided to serve it up to him on Insayshable.
Glorious Forever had led uncontested at his previous two starts, but the Magic Man went out to ensure he wouldn’t have that luxury, going straight to the front and controlling the race.
Glorious Forever lowers big brother Time Warp's 2000m track record in Race 4 at Sha Tin as @zpurton strikes back with a double to match rival Joao Moreira's early brace. #HKracing pic.twitter.com/C6rK8aXbwd— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) July 8, 2018
The battle between the two top jockeys was the highlight of the day – between them they won eight of the 11 races, collecting with four each – but Purton came out on top here.
When he produced Glorious Forever at the top of the straight, the four-year-old responded like a good horse, coming away to beat Insayshable by two-and-a-quarter lengths with General Sherman in third.
Lor credited the fast track for the record time but was impressed with the way his gelding performed and believes he could contest races like the Group One Longines Hong Kong Cup next season – and likely take on his brother – if he keeps stepping up.
“If he keeps improving, we’ll have to have a look at it – it’s not easy to find a good horse,” he said.
The trainer still thinks there is plenty of upside for the English import, who has now won two of his four starts in Hong Kong.
“When he came to my stables he was a bit skinny and he looked a bit dumb but after a few gallops and trials he kept getting better. Then I put the blinkers on and he went to another level,” Lor said.
“This time he took a sit behind and he went a bit keen, so hopefully he will keep improving and he won’t do that next season.
“When we race at 2,000m again, I might try to use another piece of gear.”
Glorious Forever’s victory was the middle leg of a treble for the stable, who also captured the opening race with Speed Vision (Moreira) and the 10th with Patch Baby (Purton).
Blinkers also played a big role in Speed Vision’s improved form, helping him focus in the Griffin Yung Shue O Plate (1,200m).
“I put the blinkers on for a gallop and a trial and he looked much better, so that’s why I put them on,” said Lor, who now has 63 winners in his first season.
“He just jumped straight to the front and controlled the race.”