Frankie Lor Fu-chuen has enjoyed phenomenal success with tried horses in Hong Kong but admits the challenge of moulding one of his own is especially rewarding.
The fourth-season trainer has an exciting project in the progressive Winning Dreamer, who enhanced his reputation at Sha Tin on Sunday by winning the Class Three Kwai Fong Handicap (1,200m) in strong fashion.
The four-year-old boasted a record of two-from-two going into the race and exits it with a plethora of options, with Lor considering the possibility of stepping his four-year-old up in distance.
Both Lor and jockey Vincent Ho Chak-yiu wanted to see Winning Dreamer relax in the run and he delivered in spades after burning across from barrier 12.
“Because of the bad draw and with California Gungho in gate 11, I said to follow him in,” Lor said.
“Vincent said after the race that he did that and the horse relaxed. Then the horse came from outside him and he got a little bit scared but it was OK in the straight.
“Vincent thought he would learn more from the race but we can say now that he is more relaxed, later maybe we can get him over 1,400m.
“I don’t want him to always go to the front. If he can go back, settle and relax, we can get him over more distance.”
For Ho, it marks another exciting youngster that he has managed to get himself on after taking Golden Sixty to incredible heights last season with an undefeated campaign culminating in the Hong Kong Derby.
The top local jockey was forced to work for the win on Sunday when Winning Dreamer was surrounded by rivals at the top of the straight, but he left impressed by the son of Deep Field’s burst of acceleration when he got into the clear.
“We learned that he can relax, not just when he is in front but when there are horses around, and he settled very well,” he said. “He gave me that sprint at the last bit and stayed on well.”
“We will get his fitness up first then we will see about 1,400m. He is a lot more relaxed at the races than at trackwork so there is something there.”
Lor has enjoyed feature-race success with Mr Stunning, Glorious Forever and Furore – who all started their careers with other handlers – but says he wants to begin developing horses from day one.
Winning Dreamer is the first horse of Lor’s to win his first three career starts, indicating a big future.
“I need to be careful with him because he is my horse,” Lor laughed. “At the moment, it is exciting and I think there is improvement so I need to see what is coming.
“I will sit down with the jockey and see what he thinks, I think 1,400m should be no problem.”
Lor also tasted success with Armor Star in the Class Four Shek Wai Kok Handicap (1,400m) after in-form jockey Joao Moreira went wire-to-wire.
The five-year-old has proven to be a progressive type for Lor, winning two of his first five starts.