Hong Kong Preview: Trainer Frankie Lor holds a strong hand at Happy Valley

January 9th, 2024

Trainer Frankie Lor saddles three of the 12 contenders in Happy Valley's biggest race of the year in Wednesday's January Cup (G3) – last year’s winner #2 Money Catcher, Hong Kong Cup (G1) sixth-place finisher #3 Sword Point, and the fast-improving #9 Happy Together. All three look to have genuine claims in the 1,800-meter (about 1 1/8-mile) contest.

Happy Valley Race 6 Selections

  • #3 Sword Point
  • #5 Helene Feeling
  • #9 Happy Together
  • #1 Encountered

Happy Valley Race 6 Wagers

  • $10 win/$30 show: #3 Sword Point
  • $2 trifecta: 3, 5 with 3, 5, 9 with 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9

Sword Point may be the best of the trio. The former Australian showed ability last season when second in the Hong Kong Classic Cup over 1,800 meters, and he has come back well this season, beating all but Straight Arron in the Jockey Club Cup (G2) and then running a nice race for sixth behind Romantic Warrior and Luxembourg in the Hong Kong Cup.

With a relatively nice 126-pound impost, Sword Point is well-placed to run well for jockey Hugh Bowman.

Happy Together, a winner in Ireland when known as Hotel Wren, has found a new level since joining Lor this season from the departing Richard Gibson. He’s won three of his four starts this term, including his debut outing at Happy Valley last time out. With just 115 pounds he has strong prospects.

Money Catcher was third in the Jockey Club Cup but then ran ninth in the Hong Kong Cup. He doesn’t seem to be going quite as well this season as last and he has 134 pounds to carry but a return to his best would give him a chance.

The best prospect outside the Lor trio may be #7 Helene Feeling. A dual winner in Britain when known as Indian Dream, Helene Feeling has won four of his nine Hong Kong starts and was last seen winning at the Valley over a good Class 2 field. He will also appreciate going down to 115 pounds.

#1 Encountered has a fair bit of weight to give away but did win the Sa Sa Purse (G3) under similar conditions, while #8 Nimble Nimbus could be one to include for exotics.