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Frankie Lor reaches 400 Hong Kong wins, posts Happy Valley double

October 6, 2023 at 4:32:54 AM

Frankie Lo continued whirlwind career progress by posting his 400th Hong Kong win at Happy Valley on Wednesday night (4 October), reaching the milestone in only his seventh season with Heroic Master in the Class 3 Nam Fung Handicap (1000m).

Frankie Lo continued whirlwind career progress by posting his 400th Hong Kong win at Happy Valley on Wednesday night (4 October), reaching the milestone in only his seventh season with Heroic Master in the Class 3 Nam Fung Handicap (1000m).

Licensed as a trainer in 2017, Lor struck with his first runner – Yourtheoneforme – and surged to a record debut season haul of 65 winners. Formerly 12-time Hong Kong handler John Size’s assistant trainer, Lor then advanced to his first title in 2021/22 with 90 wins for the season to extend a prodigious sequence.

Now entrenched in Hong Kong training’s elite, 57-year-old Lor took 3,227 runners to reach 400 wins with a career winning strike rate of 12.4% – a figure bettered only by the astonishing Size, whose 1,493 wins have come at 13.8%.

While Size remains the fastest to reach the 400-win landmark, taking 2,941 runners, Lor was quicker than Tony Cruz (3,649) and Ivan Allan (3,703).

Typically deflective of praise, Lor said: “It’s not easy. I need to say thank you for the stable team – at Conghua and also Sha Tin – they work really hard. Owners also, without their support, I don’t win 400 races,” he said.

“I will not count how many numbers but I always try to win for the owners. Of course, I still want to get on top again (and win another championship) – always try, always try.”

Third in last season’s title race to Size and Francis Lui with 65 victories, Lor is again in the championship hunt with seven wins so far for the campaign to trail Lui (11), Caspar Fownes (10), Danny Shum (eight) and Pierre Ng (seven).

Cody Mo jubilated in his first training success after Zac Purton piloted Romantic Laos to victory in the Class 3 Wong Chuk Hang Handicap.

“I’m very happy and I want to thank my team and also the owners’ support,” Mo, 45, said. “I thought this horse would run well because he trialled well and I came here tonight feeling good – but I was a bit concerned about having barrier 12. I’m feeling really good and very thankful.”

A vastly experienced assistant trainer after stints with Tony Cruz, David Hall, Benno Yung and David Ferraris, Mo was granted a licence for this season and has made a conservative start to his maiden campaign. Romantic Laos was Mo’s eighth starter for the season so far.

Lor and Fownes shared the first dead-heat of the season when the judges could not separate Capital Delight and Vincent Ho and Lucky Archangel and Angus Chung in the Class 3 Hong Kong Country Club Challenge Cup Handicap (1200m) as Capital Delight claimed a PP Bonus of HK$1.5 million in securing his first Hong Kong victory.

Six-time Hong Kong champion jockey Purton regained the lead in this season’s standings with a treble which included a race-to-race double for Danny Shum. Purton struck first with struck with Hong Kong International Sale graduate Denfield and followed up with Copartner Ambition before closing the meeting aboard Romantic Laos.

Purton (13 wins) holds a slender lead over Hugh Bowman (12), who teamed with Fownes to win aboard June Planet.

Manfred Man’s Viva A La prevailed under a clever front-running ride from Derek Leung to post his second Happy Valley victory in three starts – and his first for Man since transferring from retired trainer Peter Ho. Another former Ho charge, My Intelligent, won for Chris So and Matthew Chadwick.

Hong Kong racing continues at Sha Tin on Sunday (8 October).

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