Frankie Lor Fu-chuen doesn’t yet know what season 2020-21 will hold for Winning Dreamer but he is sure of a couple of things – he’s the most exciting young horse he’s had and he’s improved markedly over the off-season.
The electric four-year-old announced himself with two scintillating victories down the Sha Tin straight last season and Lor is confident punters will see a better horse again when Winning Dream tackles 1,200m for the first time in the Class Three Kwai Fong Handicap.
“He’s been a big improver. Last season he still had some baby fat but he’s dropped some weight and now he looks more muscular,” Lor said.
While fourth-season trainer Lor has had a string of big-race wins with horses that had raced for other trainers either in Hong Kong or abroad, he feels Winning Dreamer is the best previously unraced horse to enter his stable.
“If I can make him by myself it would be good but I don’t know just how good the horse is yet,” he laughed.
While Winning Dreamer’s two runs to date suggest he’s got a big future as a sprinter – his debut victory in 55.59 seconds was quicker than what Mr Stunning and Aethero produced on debut down the Sha Tin straight – Lor has not ruled out stretching the son of Deep Field out to a mile.
The first leg of the four-year-old series in January is on the cards and Lor is hopeful Winning Dreamer can graduate to Group company before the end of the season.
“At this moment the Classic Mile is an option. He looks like he can maybe be a sprinter-miler, I hope so,” Lor said.
“I think first of all, he’s a four-year-old and I think his maximum might be 1,600m. The 1,400m should be no problem for him but 1,600m is still a question mark and he’s not going to handle 1,800m or 2,000m.
“But I cannot say which way I will go yet because I need to have a look at this race first and then we can make a plan. I want to see how he runs on Sunday and get the feedback from the jockey.”
Vincent Ho Chak-yiu retains the ride on Winning Dreamer and will have to negotiate barrier 12 in a race that looks otherwise ripe for the picking.
After landing his first winner for the season at Happy Valley on Wednesday night, Lor is keen to keep the ball rolling and believes Winning Dreamer can help him do that.
“Unfortunately he got an outside draw but if the horse is good enough it should be OK, and he looks like he’s good enough,” he said.
Lor also takes Chevalier Prince to the races on Sunday, with the four-year-old stepping up to Class Three company for the Kwai Shing Handicap (1,400m) after a win and three placings from four runs in his debut season.
“He looks good. I’ve taken him back to 1,400m and I’ve taken the hood off. After a freshen-up, 1,400m should be no problem. He’s got a light weight so I think he’s a winning chance” Lor said of another horse who could tread a Classic Series path.
“The 1,600m [of the Classic Mile] and 1,800m [of the Classic Cup] should be no problem for him, but it depends on how good he is.”