Champion trainer Frankie Lor Fu-chuen declared Dream Winner “the best three-year-old I’ve had in my stable” after the exciting youngster smashed the clock again at Sha Tin on Saturday to make it two scintillating successes from his first two starts.
Twenty days on from taking advantage of a tailwind to record the fastest 1,000m time this season – 55.14 – in his jaw-dropping victory, Dream Winner ran 55.52 over the same course and distance to claim the Class Three Tuen Mun Public Riding School Handicap.
Like last month, it was a steering job for Vincent Ho Chak-yiu as Dream Winner, whose relatives include three-time Group One champion Start Wondering, raced past pacesetter Super Axiom to triumph by two and a half lengths with the bare minimum of persuasion.
Dream Winner was the first leg of Ho’s treble across the weather-interrupted Sha Tin card, with the 33-year-old jockey also saluting the judge aboard Class Four Lei Yue Mun Park Handicap (1,400m) winner All Is Good – his second success in a row – and Class Three Lung Mun Road Handicap (1,600m) victor Secret Vision.
Jockey Club handicappers raised Dream Winner’s rating by 12 points for his five-and-a-quarter-length debut demolition job.
While Dream Winner’s second-up margin was smaller, the manner of his sophomore success means he is likely to attract another double-digit penalty and find himself near the top of the Class Three band.
Lor may send Dream Winner back to the races next month – “there’s a Class Three over 1,000m on July 1, but I need to see the horse and talk to the owner first” – but he believes the immature Exosphere gelding is a Group-quality galloper in the making.
“He’s a big baby. Sometimes in the mornings, when he walks up to the track, he stops and looks around – his work rider has to ask him to go again,” Lor said.
“He did it after the finish. When he came back, he stood over there on the track. He waited, and Vincent asked for a lead.
“He is the best three-year-old I’ve had in my stable. I think he still has a lot of improvement.”
Dream Winner put the smile back on Lor’s face soon after the odds-on defeat of another three-year-old sprinter in his care, Beauty Destiny, pained the handler and favourite backers.
Zac Purton eased the tail-swishing $1.70 chance out of the Class Four Ho Sheung Heung Road Handicap (1,000m) – Beauty Destiny crossed the line 12 lengths behind Amazing Rocky – after hearing abnormal sounds from the Star Turn gelding.
“Zac told me he made lots of noise in the race,” said Lor of Beauty Destiny, a $1.40 debut third behind Lucky Encounter and Green N White on April 30.
In addition to Ho, three trainers – Francis Lui Kin-wai, Benno Yung Tin-pang and John Size – registered multiples, each handler saddling two winners.
The highest-rated race on the programme, the Class Two Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road Handicap (1,800m), went to a Size-prepared galloper but not the one that the market thought would win the HK$2.9 million event.
Bourbonaire won for the first time in 11 months, with his Size stablemate, Tuchel, third.