Look Eras wins Longines Cup Handicap at Hong Kong International Races Prelude Night
Nash Rawiller guided Look Eras to a narrow victory in Wednesday night’s feature race, the Class 4 Longines Cup Handicap, at Happy Valley racecourse in Hong Kong.
Jockey Rawiller had to call on all the reserves of the Me Tsui-trained horse in the 1200 metre chase on the turf to eventually deny Exceptional Desire in second by a short head and Multigogo in third.
The evening’s racing at Happy Valley was The Longines Hong Kong International Races Prelude Night meeting, run in conjunction with entries for the prestigious race meeting on 10 December being unveiled earlier in the day.
New trainer Frankie Lor continued the dream start to his training career by saddling up a double to extend his lead at the top of the trainers’ championship.
Lor has now trained 14 winners after 16 meetings thanks to victories for Spicy Double in the Class 5 Powerful Handicap and Dr Win Win in the Class 3 Dordenma Handicap.
Spicy Double was the first of those two winners, leading a 12 horse field home over 1650 metres which saw Gobi Storm follow in second three-quarters of a length behind with Oriental Fantasia in third. Lor’s evening’s double was complete in the Dordenma Handicap, which run over the same distance saw Dr Win Win edge out Lucky Girl in second by a head with Bank On Red in third.
One of the night’s more impressive performances came from Ricky Yiu’s Speedy King, who won the Class 4 Our Pegasus Handicap.
Run over a distance of 1000 metres, jockey Neil Callan saw his mount to a victory on debut, coming in a neck’s distance ahead of Peace Combination in second and Junzi in third.
Two of Hong Kong’s former champion riders were also among the winner’s contingent. Douglas Whyte was at his front-running best aboard Cloud Nine in the Class 4 Very Well Handicap as the race favourite led home The Jazz in second by half a length with King Bountiful in third.
Meanwhile, Australian Zac Purton enjoyed success in the first and last races of the meeting. The first came in the opener Class 3 Billion Handicap on Danny Shum-trained Happilababy who was a two length winner from Ensuring in second and Happy Contender in third.
The double was completed at the end of the evening when Starlight made it four wins from his last five starts in the Class 3 Perfect Gear Handicap.The Dennis Yip-trained mount was given a comfortable trip behind the leaders by Purton in the 1200 metre chase, and duly won his fifth race from his past nine starts by three-quarters of a length from G-One Lover in second and Grace Heart in third.
The win also moved Starlight to the top of the Hong Kong Airlines Million Challenge standings, which is run for horses in Class Three races or higher at Happy Valley from September through to February of the following year. Purton for his part now sits on 21 victories for the season, three adrift of championship leader Joao Moreira.