Caspar Fownes admits he will be bitterly disappointed if his young galloper Sky Field does not put in a big showing at Sha Tin on Sunday, saying he excites him like few others in his stable.
The three-year-old has just one Happy Valley start under his belt and was only beaten by his inexperience when he flashed home for fourth in what is one of the fastest closing sectionals of the season.
Fownes elected not to rush the promising type after his debut run in January, instead sending him to Conghua for a break before giving him two barrier trials.
“He is an exciting horse, he excites me like not many of my other [young horses] do,” Fownes said. “He has got something there, I think off his rating of 54, I’d be disappointed if he didn’t make a mess of them really.
“He is pretty smart, he is just a bit inexperienced but going forward he is a horse with quite a bit of upside.”
While he started a $15 chance on debut with Vincent Ho Chak-yiu in the saddle, punters are unlikely to get the same luxury come Sunday in the second section of the Class Four Garnet Handicap (1,200m).
“He flashed home with a massive sectional which you probably only see two or three horses do a year at Happy Valley so he is one that has a lot of points in hand,” Fownes said.
“He needs to learn to go on the inside of horses, that is what cost him at Happy Valley. If he went on the inside at the 600m it was game over, he would have won easy.
“He has had the one run and it is hard in Hong Kong because you are taking on some older horses which are seasoned.
“I think his class will take him through, he is in good form, drawn a bit awkward but he has got to learn to race the right way.”
Should Sky Field breakthrough for victory on Sunday, it will mark a good two weeks for Fownes and connections, who also own Sky Darci.
Sky Darci secured his second win from four starts at the most recent Happy Valley meeting.
Fownes will also saddle up his stable stalwart Southern Legend in the Group Three Premier Plate (1,800m), where he will look to cap off a career-best season.
The seven-year-old will carry the top weight in the contest, giving the likes of Furore a weight advantage.
“I was going to put him away but he is bouncing, he is in good form so I thought he could have one more spin around,” Fownes said.
“He has won at 1,800m before, he has a big weight but he has a good gate so I am sure he will acquit himself really well.”
Southern Legend broke through for his first Group One in the Champions Mile in April when he dethroned champion galloper Beauty Generation before being narrowly beaten in last month’s Group Three Lion Rock Trophy (1,600m).
“His last run was outstanding, if we had sat outside the leader it would have been a different ball game,” he said. “The horse is very fit but again it comes down to giving some good horses weight again.”