Hong Kong Derby winner Furore is ready to bounce back to his brilliant best with the weight off his back, trainer Frankie Lor Fu-chuen believes.
Lor takes a two-pronged attack into Sunday’s Group Three Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse (1,800m) with Furore and Dark Dream but believes the former is well ahead in his preparation.
Furore has one start under his belt already this season, giving him a huge advantage over his stablemate, Lor said.
“Last start over 1,400m, it was a little bit short but maybe he used too much energy out in front,” he said.
“In the straight you could see he was not really strong.
“This time I have asked [jockey] Karis [Teetan] to make him settle first so I think he will have a strong finish this time out.”
Lor has long held the belief that Dark Dream would mature into a top-line horse but says it will come with time, hinting the former Group One Queensland Derby (2,200m) winner would appreciate more ground.
“He looks OK, I gave him two trials and he looked good but later on I think this horse will be more of a stayer but I still need to give him this run,” he said.
“I have put the cheek pieces on, he looks better with them. I think 1,800m is a tiny bit short so they will make him concentrate a bit better.
“I think he is at about 80 per cent.”
While Dark Dream will carry 122 pounds with Joao Moreira riding, Furore has a 20-pound advantage on top weight Exultant.
With Australian Hugh Bowman booked to reunite with the five-year-old next start following their Derby heroics last season, Teetan will ride at the bottom weight of 113 pounds.
“I tried to put Karis on [in the barrier trial] but he was suspended and away for a few days so I put Keith [Yeung Ming-lun] on and he was very happy with him,” Lor said.
“Because Furore has already raced this season, I think he will be a little bit fitter than Dark Dream.”
Furore will run in the Group Two Jockey Club Cup (2,000m) before going to the Group One Hong Kong Cup (2,000m).
Dark Dream is expected to run in December’s Group One Hong Kong Vase (2,400m) after he was also nominated in the Cup on the same day.
“For me, I would think the Vase is the preferred option, he is a little bit one-paced so it will be better for him,” Lor said.