Group-winning import Majestic Colour and hat-trick scorer Super Sunny Sing missed the cut for Sunday’s Hong Kong Classic Mile, but they staked their claims for spots in the Classic Cup (1,800m) and Derby (2,000m) fields with impressive wins at Sha Tin.
Frankie Lor Fu-chuen’s Majestic Colour, who arrived in Hong Kong after winning four Australian races in a row – the last of which was the Group Three Winx Guineas (1,600m) – opened his local account on his third city start, taking out the Class Three Good Fortune Handicap (1,400m) by three-quarters of a length and completing Derek Leung Ka-chun’s double.
Chris So Wai-yin’s Super Sunny Sing registered his third consecutive victory, winning the card-closing Class Three Great Profits Handicap (1,600m) by three and a half lengths under Vincent Ho Chak-yiu.
Both Lor and So are aiming their triumphant four-year-old gallopers at the Hong Kong Derby, but the ratings of their respective horses may force them to take roads other than the conventional route to the HK$24 million feature on March 19.
“We might skip the Classic Cup,” Lor said, fearing Classic Mile fourth reserve Majestic Colour may not be sufficiently highly rated to get a run in February 26’s second leg of the Classic Series.
“I’ll speak to the owners. We might go to other races to try and get his rating up for the Derby.”
Majestic Colour was overdue some good fortune after experiencing bad luck on his first two Hong Kong starts. Hugh Bowman had trialled him and was meant to partner him on his local debut, but the jockey’s Christmas Eve race fall led to Alex Lai Hoi-wing picking up the ride at the last minute. Second up, he endured an unfavourable run under Karis Teetan.
“First time, he finished third. Last time, Karis fought with him too hard, so he couldn’t finish off over the last 400m. This time, I dropped him back to 1,400m to allow him to relax more, and I told Derek there was no need to pull him too hard,” Lor said.
So, who did not even enter Super Sunny Sing in the Classic Mile because he knew his rating would be too low to get a start, is keeping all options open following the Nicconi gelding’s latest success.
“We’ll aim for the Derby,” So said. “We decided to run in this race, test him for the 1,600m and see if we can get into the Classic Cup and Derby.
“I didn’t expect him to win by three lengths, but he keeps on improving. I hope we get in the series.”
Super Sunny Sing made the frame in each of his first three appearances this season before he rose in both grade and distance for his successful fourth outing.
His three wins on the bounce – all of them in Class Three contests over Sha Tin’s 1,400m journey – have improved the progressive galloper’s record to four victories and two placings from eight starts.