Frankie Lor Fu-chuen could face disciplinary action after a potential breach of the Jockey Club’s “racing bubble” following a family gathering at his place at Sha Tin racecourse earlier this month.
It is believed Lor hosted guests at his place at a time when those that live on course at Sha Tin are not permitted to have visitors.
Lor was absent from Sunday’s race meeting – missing the victory of Sauvestre in the Class Three Mei Lam Handicap – and it is believed he and his family have been removed from their on-course accommodation, which the Jockey Club provides for its key participants.
Lor’s slip-up comes soon after Hong Kong’s trainers had the current expectations spelt out to them at a meeting and has left many within the bubble in disbelief after months of operating under suffocating restrictions in a bid to give the sport the best chance of continuing.
Purton ticks off another big race as Spangle sparkles in Classic Cup
“The club is looking into Frankie Lor’s conduct and compliance with the club’s requirements for licensed persons and an inquiry will be held tomorrow,” said Jockey Club executive director of racing Andrew Harding.
“However, the club would like to stress that Frankie Lor has undertaken regular Covid tests under the club’s stringent testing regime.
“His test results have consistently returned negative including the latest one this morning.”
He's on a roll now! @zpurton collects a race-to-race double as Sauvestre gets off the mark for @FCLOR_RACING. ✌️ #4YOSeries #HKracing pic.twitter.com/ThfTMqM26p— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) February 27, 2022
Lor, who has trained 48 winners so far this season to sit one behind championship leader John Size, was not the only trainer absent from Sunday’s Classic Cup meeting, with Dennis Yip Chor-hong still sidelined after testing positive on Monday and David Hayes self-isolating after two members of his household returned positive tests.
Hayes had to watch on from home as Oriental Smoke ran second for the third race in a row on Sunday but has avoided catching the virus himself and is confident he will be out in time for next weekend’s Sha Tin fixture.
“I can watch trackwork from my balcony – I’m lucky I’m on the 10th floor,” Hayes said.
Gibson hails super Six
Richard Gibson can’t wait to see what the future holds for exciting three-year-old Cordyceps Six after the speedster handled his first Class Two assignment with aplomb at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Popular in betting late, Cordyceps Six was sent out a $5.85 third elect in the Class Two Lek Yuen Handicap (1,200m) and delivered in style, running out a commanding winner.
“You have got to remember he’s three-years-old – I think this is one of the best three-year-olds we’ve seen in several years,” Gibson said. “It’s very rare to win five races already as a three-year-old.”
Cordyceps Six has won five times from 10 starts since his debut in April last year, reeling off four victories over 1,000m as he marched through his grades.
Impressive stuff from Cordyceps Six! 🔥 The Star Turn three-year-old lets rip under @blake_shinn in the last race. #4YOSeries #HKracing pic.twitter.com/PSPjkFY9jV— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) February 27, 2022
He stepped up to six furlongs for the first time on Sunday and showed he’s every bit as good, if not better, at the trip.
Settled behind midfield by Blake Shinn, Cordyceps Six loomed effortlessly into the race under limited urgings from the Australian before putting a gap on his rivals in the final 100m or so.
“It was first time at 1,200m. I thought he showed a lot of class and Blake gave him a beautiful ride. I think he showed today that he’s got a very good future in front of him,” Gibson said of the son of Star Turn, who will now boast a rating in the mid-90s.
The John Size-trained Blaze Warrior was a length and a quarter adrift in second after motoring home from the back of the field, while Manfred Man Ka-leung’s Trillion Win stuck on for third after travelling outside the lead.
More Maia magic
Ruan Maia capped off the biggest month of his Hong Kong career with a double, getting the chocolates aboard the Tony Millard-trained Fortune Patrol and Francis Lui Kin-wai’s Golden Empire.
The Brazilian has booted home six winners during February after four in January and now sits on 17 victories for the campaign.
Maia piloted Fortune Patrol to a second consecutive success in the Class Five Wo Che Handicap (2,000m), improving his record for Millard this season to five wins from 18 attempts at a strike rate of 28 per cent.
What a battle!? 💥 Golden Empire - a 2021 Hong Kong International Sale graduate - gets up narrowly for @Ruanmaiajockey & trainer Francis Lui. #HKIS #HKracing pic.twitter.com/fCxIvhJCUl— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) February 27, 2022
“This old horse is racing well and Ruan is riding well for me,” Millard said after also moving to 17 victories for the season.
Maia then urged Golden Empire to a narrow win over Zac Purton aboard Oriental Smoke in the Class Four Sun Chui Handicap (1,400m) after inheriting the ride aboard Golden Empire from Purton.
A son of Fastnet Rock, Golden Empire now has two successes from four starts and will graduate into Class Three company.