FURORE wins Hong Kong Derby
Hong Kong – There was a Furore at Sha Tin on Sunday and it came in the form of trainer Frankie Lor Fu-chuen’s rising star.
There was no discontent among the 60,498 fans on course, just excitement as the second-season training sensation continued his meteoric rise, becoming the first Chinese trainer to win the BMW Hong Kong Derby since Brian Kan Ping-chee saluted with Industrial Pioneer in 2001.
Lor has swept all before him and continues to raise the bar. He is just the second person to sweep Hong Kong’s prestigious four-year-old series since it came into existence in 2006. But he was aided by a Hugh Bowman special.
The Australian jockey, best known for his association with Winx, produced one of his greatest rides as 5-1 chance Furore overcame barrier 12 to get the run of the race and add the Derby gong to his earlier Classic Mile trophy.
The Derby is Hong Kong’s most important race and the 53-year-old Lor already has it in his keeping after holding a licence for less than 20 months.
“I cannot express how I feel. It’s very difficult to get a horse into the Derby, let alone win, so it’s a dream come true. I cannot believe it,” Lor said.
“I was lucky Hugh Bowman rode so well. I just let Hugh do what he wanted to and it paid off.”
Lor saddled three horses for the HK$18-million contest – Dark Dream came fourth and Classic Cup winner Mission Tycoon dropped out to finish 11th.
All three will be entered for both next month’s Champions Mile and QE II Cup and he will work out which horse will go to which race later.
The odds-on favourite Waikuku ran on late to grab second, but was left with too much to do by ace jockey Joao Moreira after settling near the tail of the field.
South African-bred colt Lobo’s Legend made his Hong Kong debut at the Derby meeting for trainer David Ferraris. Starting at odds of 125-1, from a 13 out of 14 draw and following a racecourse absence of more than a year, little was expected of the four-year-old.
Despite being forced to drop to the tail of the field from the break, Lobo’s Legend took a keen hold and had to be held up by jockey Neil Callan. In the run-in, the son of Trippi showed acceleration but then fell away to finish third last.
The race, the tenth on the card, was won by Encouraging, who was 2.50 lengths clear of fellow Australian-bred Tornado Twist, with New Zealand import King Opie – ridden by SA’s Grant van Niekerk – in third.
Before being sold and exported, Lobo’s Legend was trained on the Highveld by Joey Soma and was ridden to an 28-1 upset victory in the 2018 SA Classic at Turffontein by Muzi Yeni. – www.scmp.com