Frankie Lor Fu-chuen’s up-and-coming speedster Big Party delivered on his sprinting potential at Sha Tin on Sunday after leaving punters empty-handed on debut in October.
First-time jockey Grant van Niekerk was cool, calm and collected on the grey, settling outside the speed before dashing clear halfway up the all-weather straight.
While he was sent out an odds-on favourite on debut, punters were much more cautious this time around, with Big Party starting at $3.3 despite two impressive trials between runs.
While racing greenly cost him the race on debut up the Sha Tin straight, Lor said he had ironed out his faults with a relentless training effort.
“After the last race, I gave him two trials, he still had a little bit of improvement, I think after this race he will improve even more,” he said.
“I think the extra distance helped him, but we don’t know because it was his first time on the track.”
Lor said Big Party’s future now lies in the hands of the handicapper, with the second-season trainer not willing to look too far ahead with his promising galloper.
“It depends on the rating and how many they will give him,” he said. “To me, it looks like they would give him nine points, so that’s into Class Three.”
Big Party confirms his trial and debut promise with an emphatic win under Grant Van Niekerk in R7 st Sha Tin. Winning trainer Frankie Lor will be hoping another son of Exceed And Excel - namely Mr Stunning - can shine in next week's LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint #HKIR #HKracing pic.twitter.com/b0suiGdOwR— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) December 2, 2018
While Big Party floundered on debut on turf, Lor said he was not afraid to go back to the surface to try his luck with his new-found form.
“There should be no problem, turf or dirt I think,” he said.
Big Party was one of three first-season horses he brought to the races on Sunday as the former John Size assistant attempts to build his profile in Hong Kong.
Italian import Glorious Spectrum ran well for jockey Umberto Rispoli and the injury plagued Vincy ran on for fourth in impressive debuts.
Lor is hoping he can carry his good luck into next week as he chases an elusive Group One victory for the first time with a duo of gallopers.
It is one linked to Big Party that represents his strongest chance in Mr Stunning in the Longines Hong Kong Sprint (1,200m).
Both Big Party and Mr Stunning were sired by Australian stallion Exceed and Excel, and Lor believes with a bit of luck Mr Stunning can emulate Big Party’s run on Sunday.
“A lot depends on the draw so I will be waiting to see on Thursday morning,” he said. “He has only had two starts this season so that’s why I gave him the trial [on Friday], so he can be ready for Sunday.”