Freshman handler Frankie Lor continued the dream start to his training career, saddling up a double at Happy Valley on Wednesday night to extend his lead at the top of the trainers’ championship.
Lor has trained 14 winners after 16 meetings at a strike rate of 22.58 per cent, with the victories of Dr Win Win in the Class 3 Dordenma Handicap (1650m) and Spicy Double in the Class 5 Powerful Handicap (1650m) extending his lead to three over 2012/13 champion trainer Dennis Yip.
Vincent Ho drives Dr Win Win to the line to win the Class 3 Dordenma Handicap for trainer Frankie Lor.
Dr Win Win, formerly named Qatar Dream, arrived with juvenile form from France, including a second to G1-winning blueblood Zarak on debut.
However, like many gallopers, the Makfi four-year-old has taken time to acclimatise upon his arrival, finishing near the rear in five runs for Caspar Fownes before changing to Lor’s stable.
“He was still finding his feet last season,” Lor said. “When he was with Caspar, he was still a colt but the horse was quite playful, so I suggested to the owners that we geld him. That has made a notable difference.”
Dr Win Win had put the writing on the wall with a seventh over 1200m before charging home for second with the step up to 1650m. In a muddling race on Wednesday night, the bay was able to stay on under Vincent Ho to just defeat enigmatic gelding Lucky Girl by a head.
“I applied the blinkers for his first run and he was OK starting at the 1200m,” Lor said. “When I stepped him up in trip, I went to the cheek pieces and they helped him to stay better, so it proved tonight. He is not a big horse so I need to take care with him and manage his training closely – I can’t work him too hard. Hopefully he can win again in this grade.”
A horse that had waited a long time for his first victory was Spicy Double. The Rip Van Winkle five-year-old had gone 21 starts without a win and found himself on a rating of 20 before his three-quarter length success under Derek Leung.
“It was a difficult task to win with this horse,” Lor said. “I started him at 1200m and he was too one-paced. Then I stepped him up to 1650m, but he was a bit keen because of the pace. This time, he had a relatively faster pace and he was just able to win. It was a satisfying result.”
Racing returns to Happy Valley on Sunday (29 October) for a rare day meeting at the city track, with the first scheduled for 1pm.