Frankie Lor Fu-chuen has turned to his go-to jockey as he looks to arrest a run of outs for his talented galloper Tornado Twist at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
The popular trainer has enlisted the services of Zac Purton as he looks to grab his first win with the five-year-old, who drops into Class Three for the first time in 16 starts in the Speed Vision Handicap (1,200m).
Formerly under the care of Lor’s old boss John Size, Tornado Twist changed hands halfway through last season and his current handler believes there is plenty left in the tank.
However most importantly, Lor said the fact that he now carries the top weight as opposed to the bottom weight opens the door to an arsenal of jockeys previously unavailable to him.
“I think with the drop down to Class Three, it gives him a good chance and now we have a good jockey with a good draw,” he said.
“When the horse drops into Class Three, he has the heavy weight so there is a much greater selection of good jockeys.”
Since arriving in Lor’s stable, Tornado Twist has finished no better than fifth but his beaten margins suggest he is close to a winning performance.
Despite his last two starts coming at Sha Tin, Lor has opted to take him to the city track this time out.
“Usually at Happy Valley, the horses are just a little bit weaker than Sha Tin,” he said.
Hot favourite Tornado Twist seldom breaks smartly but his turn of foot is impressive and he overcomes adversity in R7 to make it three wins in six weeks under Joao Moreira. John Size feels his winner's short-term future remains at 1200m #HKracing pic.twitter.com/tp9oHro06z— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) February 2, 2019
“The last two times [in Class Two] he finished not so bad but he’s now in Class Three so that helps.
“When [Size] asked me to take this one, I said ‘OK, no problem’. He is always consistent, always close. I just think Class Two might be a little bit difficult for him.”
Lor will also partner with Purton in the Class Two Time Warp Handicap (1,800m) with consistent grey Reliable Team.
With 48 winners together at a strike rate of 24 per cent since 2017, Purton sits atop the tree when it comes to Lor’s jockeys.
Zac Purton weighs in on International Jockeys’ Championship shake-up: ‘a step in the right direction’
Four of Reliable Team’s five wins have come under Purton and Lor expects a stronger showing after a flat first-up run earlier this month.
“I think this horse just likes to keep moving,” he said. “Maybe last time he tried to pull a little bit when he took a hold and then in the straight he just couldn’t go on with it.
“He is a horse that needs to keep rolling, momentum is very important to him. From [barrier five], I think we can do that, go forward and keep it up.”
Lor, who sits third in the trainers’ standings with 11 wins, will also saddle up The Elites, Supreme Plus, Superbella and Strive For Glory on the night.