Leading Australian rider Hugh Bowman has been booked to ride BMW Hong Kong Derby contender Furore in the first leg of the upcoming four-year-old series later this month.
In a coup for second season trainer Frankie Lor Fu-chuen, he was able to fend off a host of other trainers to secure the booking, saying he hoped Bowman would stay on the horse throughout the three-race series.
As the jockey of champion mare Winx, Bowman has gained worldwide recognition and boasts a phenomenal record in Hong Kong, which includes four Group One victories along with a Derby win on Werther in 2016.
Bowman has formed a reputation as an international gun for hire, notching up 28 winners in Hong Kong, including his latest on Country Star at Happy Valley during this season’s International Jockeys’ Championship.
“I have booked Hugh Bowman to ride in the Classic Mile, then after that I hope he will tell me he wants to ride all the way through,” Lor said.
While only having two starts in Hong Kong, Furore has impressed after having to jump from barrier 13 each time.
The son of Pierro showed his class on Sunday when he was able to overcome the wide draw and settle outside the speed to run third in Class Two grade.
Lor also confirmed in-form jockey Silvestre de Sousa will retain the ride on early Derby favourite Dark Dream after winning in dominant fashion last month.
Zac Purton partnered the Australian import in his Hong Kong debut but was unable to ride last start due to a suspension.
Purton was instead likely to ride Superich in the Classic Mile in two weeks before committing to further plans, Lor said.
“Dark Dream will be [Silvestre] De Sousa, and for Zac Purton I am not sure at this stage. There should be no problem with him on Superich for the Classic Mile, and then the 1,800m and Derby, who knows,” he said.
Along with Dark Dream, Furore and Superich, Lor will take Heavenly Thought into the series. He coincidentally ran second to Dark Dream in last year’s Group One Queensland Derby before being sold to Hong Kong.
Purton had previously indicated he believed Superich was capable of racing in the four-year-old series after suffering a couple of unlucky defeats as an odds-on favourite.
“He’s lost a bit of his turn of foot I think. He is probably looking for a little bit further now. He doesn’t have the same zip that he had before,” he said.
“The further he has got into his preparation, the more he has felt like he wants more ground.”