Hong Kong Preview: Lor title quest to get boost from Run Run Cool
#10 Run Run Cool can help Frankie Lor’s quest for his first Hong Kong training title by winning the Albert Handicap for Class 2 sprinters at Happy Valley July 6.
The son of outstanding Australian speed sire Written Tycoon rarely runs a bad race, having not been out of the top five in his last eight starts. He scored consecutive victories March 20 and April 16 before finishing fourth May 7 and second June 5. All those races were over 1,000 meters (about five furlongs), the distance of the Albert Handicap.
The biggest change is that he’s moving from Sha Tin’s straight 1,000-meter course to the tight bends of Happy Valley, where he’s raced twice for a fourth and a fifth. But from barrier four, he should be in this for most of the way for jockey Harry Bentley.
Lor currently leads 11-time champion trainer John Size by seven wins with five meetings to go in the season, but says he’s not taking anything for granted, and he will be hoping Run Run Cool can help keep him in front.
The best-performed horse in the race is #1 Stoltz. A winner of three races from eight starts in Australia, he has continued the form since moving to Hong Kong, winning three from eight. All of those wins have been at Happy Valley, including a last-start victory April 27 over one of his race rivals this week, #8 Classic Unicorn.
The biggest obstacles Stoltz faces are weight — he’s giving between four and 19 pounds to all his rivals — and his barrier draw of eight, which can be tricky from the 1,000-meter start. However, he does have the services of Zac Purton, who jumped off Run Run Cool to stay with Stoltz.
The inside gate has been very successful from 1,000 meters at Happy Valley, which gives #2 Handsome Bo Bo a great chance. His form is useful rather than great, but he ran nicely for fourth two weeks ago behind the in-form gallopers Family Folks and Lucky Sweynesse, and he can take advantage of his good draw.
#12 Special M steps up to Class 2 company for the first time, but with just 116 pounds to carry he is well capable of continuing his good 1,000-meter form at Happy Valley. Joao Moreira, who is just two wins behind Purton in the contest for champion jockey, has the mount.
Bonus play – New Zealand
Ashburton, R6, Trembath Plumbing, 2,200 meters (about 1 3/8 miles)
- $10 win/$30 show: #9 Five Princes: Just downed by Miss Tavi last start. Faces that horse on two pound better terms and will benefit from a stronger pace.