Fellow aims to dash big names again in Sunday’s Premier Bowl
Dashing Fellow (120lb) scored a shock win in the G3 National Day Cup Handicap earlier this month and in Sunday’s G2 Premier Bowl Handicap (1200m) at Sha Tin Racecourse the durable gelding will attempt to replicate that result.
“That was a big surprise last time, he ran over the top of all the hotpots,” trainer John Moore said as he reflected on the 24/1 shot’s late, thrusting run past the likes of Mr Stunning, Peniaphobia and D B Pin.
The handler enjoyed a one-two in that 1000m charge, the Hong Kong season’s first Group race sprint, with the stable’s standout speedster of recent seasons, Not Listenin’tome (131lb), a close second. That duo will lock horns again at the weekend, and will once more face stiff opposition: G1 winners Lucky Bubbles (132lb) and Peniaphobia (132lb) are in the line-up, as are Hong Kong’s current top-rated pair of Thewizardofoz (133lb) and the re-opposing Mr Stunning (133lb).
Dashing Fellow wins the G3 National Day Cup as a longshot earlier this month, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club
Moore takes a circumspect view about Dashing Fellow’s chances of a repeat win under Vincent Ho. The Duporth gelding’s previous seven career scores were achieved at 1400m, and the National Day Cup, for which he carried a feather 116lb, was a first start at the 1000m minimum.
“We’ve still got handicap conditions so if he can reproduce that run off a very light weight he’s a chance again,” Moore said, but added, “I have my reservations. It might have been a one-off thing - he was the horse that enjoyed that little bit of cushion we had in the surface that day. Everything went his way, with the speed on up front, so he and Not Listenin’tome got the soft runs in behind and off they went!”
Not Listenin’tome, the mount of stable rider Tommy Berry, is expected to have taken a step forward from that first-up effort as he heads towards a hoped-for second win in next month’s G2 BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Sprint (1200m). Moore would gladly take the Premier Bowl on the way, a race he last won with Able Friend in 2015.
“He’ll definitely come on,” Moore said. “Last season it was third time out that he really hit top gear, but from gate four, on the A track, hopefully he’ll be there again - I’m sure he’ll be right there.”
Moore also has Magic Legend (113lb) in the mix with Umberto Rispoli in the plate. The four-year-old won his first four career starts last term, at 1000m and 1200m, and has performed consistently in six defeats since. The Red Element gelding was fourth in the National Day Cup last time, his third start this term.
“Magic Legend is being tested now at this level and the handicapper’s got a good chance to see his ability,” Moore said. “He has a light weight on Sunday but I’m not convinced he’s up to holding that mark in the ratings. He’s had a few opportunities but it looks like we’re starting to see what his limitations are.”
The 11-runner Premier Bowl will see the rising star D B Pin attempt to progress from his first-up third in the National Day Cup. The smart Amazing Kids (129lb), Fabulous One (113lb) and G1-placed Strathmore (113lb) complete the line-up.
Sunday’s action also features the G2 Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy Handicap (1600m). Champion Miler Beauty Only, former Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther and two-time G1 winner Helene Paragon head a 13-strong field.