Zebrowski snared his biggest success in Wednesday night’s Group Three January Cup (1,800m) and trainer Caspar Fownes is confident the five-year-old will only improve as he progresses deeper into his maiden Hong Kong campaign.

Zebrowski, who has now won twice from his seven starts since being imported from Australia, was sent out a $1.65 favourite in his first Hong Kong Group assignment and didn’t disappoint, prompting Fownes to highlight May’s Group Three Queen Mother Memorial Cup (2,400m) as a logical long-range goal for the gelding.

“From day one he hasn’t run a bad race and he probably should have at least another win under his name, he’s raced really well,” Fownes said.

“He’s a horse that’s definitely on the improve and I think his best races are going to come towards the end of the season as he gets to a real staying trip.”

He continued: “From day one I said to the owner that I think he’s a real Queen Mother horse. We’ll just see how he pulls up and try to find something around the 2,000m back at Sha Tin.”

With the 124-rated Ka Ying Star heading the weights, Zebrowski found himself 13 pounds out of the handicap and with Joao Moreira riding two over he wasn’t even lugging bottom weight, but it mattered little.

With first Victor Wong Chun aboard Decrypt and then Derek Leung Ka-chun atop Reliable Team setting a frantic tempo in front, Moreira settled Zebrowski behind midfield before inserting him into the race cornering for home and allowing him to cruise to victory ahead of Francis Lui Kin-wai’s Sunny Star.

“It’s just unfortunate that [Ka Ying Star] ran there today which just stuffed the bloody weights up for us, so he might get a penalty which he doesn’t truly deserve,” Fownes said.

Trainer Caspar Fownes and jockey Joao Moreira celebrate Zebrowski’s victory.

“[Ka Ying Star] didn’t do anything, so they’ve got to look at that, and the horse that ran second was on a rating of 85, so they have got to look at that as well. It will be interesting to see how they see it from a handicapping point of view.”

Zebrowski’s success was one of three winners on the night for Moreira and he was quick to heap praise on the galloper.

“He’s proven to be a good stayer. He’s won this race with great authority, so I just have to describe it as an easy job for myself as a rider,” said the Magic Man, who now leads the injured Zac Purton by seven in the race for the jockeys’ premiership.

“They actually went quite fast up in front. We anticipated that we were going to be a little bit closer but unfortunately we were not able to be, so Plan B applied and it pays off very well.”

Moreira also saluted aboard Toronado Phantom for John Size and the Douglas Whyte-trained Astrologer, with the third-season handler ringing up his 100th victory in the process.

Fownes went onto collect a meaty double, also taking out the night’s Class Two thanks to Kurpany’s win under Vincent Ho Chak-yiu in the Causeway Handicap (1,200m).

Championship-leading handler Frankie Lor Fu-chuen was the other trainer with a double, the successes of Rewarding Together and The Runner moving him to 36 for the term.

Meanwhile, Purton and Lyle Hewitson have been cleared to resume riding trackwork immediately as they work their way back from injuries suffered in last month’s Hong Kong Sprint fall, with the former likely to return to the races on January 12 and the latter four days later.