It’s been a long journey for trainer Frankie Lor Fu-chuen to get within reach of his first trainers’ championship.
With just seven meetings to go, Lor is six clear of his former boss John Size in the title race and a first trainers’ crown would be the culmination of more than four decades of hard work and dedication.
“I joined the Jockey Club when I was 15 years old and this is my life,” Lor said. “It’s my only job, for 41 years I’ve been working.
“I got my licence at 51, for me that was a little bit old, but I need to do my best to show that the club were right to give me a licence. I don’t want to let them down.
“I also worked for my old boss [Size] for four years and I want him to be proud of me, so I will always try my best for him and I hope to get the best results I can for the stable and for the owners so they are happy.”
With the countdown to a first championship starting to commence, Lor sends out a host of strong chances at Sha Tin on Saturday, with Beauty Live attempting to continue his fine first season in the Class Two Pok Fu Lam Country Park Handicap (1,400m).
“I think he can handle Class Two. The distance should be no problem and he carries a light weight,” Lor said of Beauty Live, who is reunited with jockey Matthew Poon Ming-fai and jumps from gate nine.
“For me he’s not a front-runner and he came with a really strong finish when Matthew jumped and dropped him back from stall 12 and that was the only time he raced back.
“I think he’s better behind horses and in midfield to have a strong finish, but sometimes you need to look at the track to see if there is a bias towards the front or midfield. Every time you need to decide.”
Ready To Win is another Lor chance in the Class Three Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road Handicap (1,400m) and he has another crack at this trip after disappointing over it earlier in the season.
“He won twice over the trip in New Zealand but since coming to Hong Kong, in the morning he travels quite strong and is keen and that’s why I tried him over 1,200m first,” Lor said.
“On his second start, I tried him over 1,400m but he was too strong, so I let him race the next few times over 1,200m. He’s learning to settle and this time he goes up to 1,400m and Zac Purton is on, which can help him.”
Another horse showing signs of inexperience is Super Highway. He runs in section one of the Class Four Hong Kong Riding For The Disabled Association Cup (1,400m) and Lor is changing his headgear in an attempt to help his youngster produce his best.
“He’s still really green,” Lor said. “Inside the gates, he’s looking around and he usually jumps slow so we need to make him jump better and together with the rest of the field.
“He’s only a three-year-old and is still learning. This time I’ve given him a hood to make him more quiet and blinkers to help him concentrate.”
Oscar Glory drops into Class Four company in the Pok Fu Lam Public Riding School Handicap (1,400) and he tends to reserve his best for that grade, with a win and seven top-four finishes in his past eight starts at that level.
“He’s only won once but is always close,” Lor said. “This time he drops down to Class Four and I hope he can win another one for me.”
Lor also relies on True Legend, Superbella and Joyful Heart at Sha Tin as he attempts to extend his championship lead.