Caspar Fownes concedes a win for his talented import Green Luck may be too little, too late for a call-up to next week’s Classic Mile but the trainer believes the horse has a big future in Hong Kong regardless.
Touted as the “King of the Valley”, Fownes has a high opinion of his four-year-old ahead of his run on Wednesday night in the Class Three Sports Road Handicap (1,650m), saying it was only a matter of time before he showed his true colours.
After an innocuous start to his Hong Kong career, Green Luck burst onto the scene at Happy Valley in November, winning comfortably in his third start at $29 before running strongly at Sha Tin for a second placing.
“He is a good horse, a serious horse,” Fownes said.
With a rating of 79, Green Luck would need a handicap increase of around eight points to secure his spot in the Classic Mile, but Fownes said while he may not get there immediately, there were ratings points in hand for the lightly raced horse.
“He is only having a lend of us at the moment, once he starts to channel his energy and do it right, he will be in triple figures, no problem,” he said.
“He is a really nice horse, when he came here he was quite quirky, we couldn’t even get him to pass his official trial because he was having a lend of us.
“Once he starts to channel his energy in the right direction, I think there is a lot more there, I think he is quite smart.”
Green Luck will once again get the services of champion jockey Zac Purton after the pair combined for the Australian’s longest-priced winner since June 2012 when he raced from the rear of the field to win in dominant fashion in November.
After running second last start behind Pakistan Friend, Fownes hopes the addition of blinkers will spark up his galloper this time around.
“If he wanted to get past him [Pakistan Friend], he would have and that’s why I’ve had the little tweak in the equipment, putting the blinkers on, that should sort him out,” he said.
“He is starting to go the right way now, he’s starting to put it together and I think he will show it on Wednesday, even though he is carrying a bit of weight, I am pretty confident that with a bit of luck he can get to 100 points.
The IJC scrap is down to the nightcap! Second is no good for Whyte after a wide trip on Happy Dragon. Meanwhile, @zpurton rides his longest priced winner since Groovy (Sha Tin, Jun 2012) as Green Luck salutes at 29-1 to complete a brace for Caspar Fownes #HKIR #HKracing #IJC pic.twitter.com/F0bsPQdweA— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) November 21, 2018
“He is a little bit naughty in the stables, he wants to have a go at you, he’s got a bit of character, that is for sure, which is good.”
Despite the riches on offer in the lucrative four-year-old series, Fownes said he was not hell-bent on rushing the horse to make the ratings cut-off which looks set to be around 86, compared to 78 last year.
“It doesn’t matter, he is a horse with a big future for the rest of the season,” he said.
“We will let him go out there on Wednesday, there is John Moore’s horse [Happy Dragon] which was very impressive last start, he won easy, so he is the main opponent.”