Frankie Lor Fu-chuen has a vice-like grip on the trainers’ title with five meetings remaining but he’s long been adamant he won’t be stopping until the very end, evidenced by the fact he’s wheeling out his highest-rated galloper in the final weeks of the campaign.
Master Eight is one of two runners for Lor in the Class One 25th Anniversary Hong Kong Reunification Cup (1,200m), along with Winning Dreamer, and the 110-rated speedster returns to action after missing April’s Group One Chairman’s Sprint Prize with an elevated temperature.
Before missing that run, Master Eight finished a close third behind Wellington in the Group Two Sprint Cup (1,200m) and Lor is confident he’s yet to get to the bottom of his four-year-old.
“I think he can still improve, this horse,” Lor said. “For me, next season should be much better for the horse. I’ll try to put him in some big sprint races and we will have a look after Friday.”
The Sprint Cup (G2)— 𝙒𝙤𝙧𝙡𝙙𝙍𝙖𝙘𝙞𝙣𝙜 (@WorldRacing1) April 3, 2022
1200m, 4.750.000 HKD, for 4yo+
(5G All Too Hard - Mihiri, by More Than Ready)
J : A. Badel
T :R. Gibson
O : Mr & Mrs Michael Cheng Wing On and Jeffrey Cheng Man Cheong
B : Kia Ora Stud Pty Ltd, David Paradise, Steve McCann, NSW pic.twitter.com/pWuC4Q5N4v
Master Eight lugs 135 pounds from gate six under Joao Moreira, while Winning Dreamer has barrier four and 124 pounds on his back after going up six points for his last-start victory under Vincent Ho Chak-yiu.
Winning Dreamer’s success in May as a $50 chance was the five-year-old’s first since international day in December 2020 but Lor is confident Ho can again extract the best out of his gelding, who began his career with six consecutive victories.
“He needed some time for his confidence to come back, so last time he won well,” Lor said.
“He was an easy horse to train until he got some problems. We needed to help him relax in the mornings and get his confidence back.
“Vincent understands him well and rides this horse perfectly. Both horses have a good chance on Friday, but Master Eight needs to carry a big weight and this could be a little bit of a problem for the young horse.”
Lor leads John Size 87-80 in the premiership race and also looks to have winning chances in the likes of Money Catcher, Mission Smart, Looking Cool and Sakewin.
From a jockeys’ perspective, Moreira trails Zac Purton by two winners and won’t want to let the Australian increase his buffer any further.
Not usually one to miss many races, the Brazilian has rides in only eight of the 10 contests on Friday but on top of Master Eight and Sakewin, Stunning Impact, Super Sunny Sing, Sight Spirit and Winwin Thirtythree look capable of big showings.
Purton’s rides include a couple of well-fancied Size runners in Tuchel and Beauty Tycoon. Purton interestingly climbs aboard Beauty Tycoon after Moreira has partnered the galloper to consecutive seconds.