Lor optimistic Money Catcher can spring FWD QEII Cup surprise

Daryl Timms

27/04/2023 18:03

Money Catcher is a dual G3 winner this season.
Money Catcher is a dual G3 winner this season.

Reigning Hong Kong champion trainer Frankie Lor is optimistic Money Catcher can secure the ultimate success in the G1 FWD QEII Cup (2000m) against elite opposition at Sha Tin on Sunday (30 April).

Considered slightly underrated at the top tier, the five-year-old gelding has been placed at G1 level, also running third in the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) and has already saluted twice at G3 level this year to give him an honest chance of winning Sunday’s HK$25 million staying contest.

After being allocated barrier five at the official draw, Money Catcher is expected to resume his pattern of being up in the lead with jockey Silvestre de Sousa with the pair facing a strong contingent of international raiders.

Frankie Lor is Hong Kong’s reigning champion trainer.
Frankie Lor is Hong Kong’s reigning champion trainer.

Asked if Money Catcher would roll to the front on Sunday, Lor said: “Probably. If no one wants to lead, maybe I try to be in front. I hope he can run well again.”

Lor, who trails his former boss John Size by just five in the 2022/23 Hong Kong trainer’s championship, also has a runner in each of the other two G1 races on Sunday.

Master Eight, to be ridden by Joao Moreira, drew barrier seven in the HK$20 million Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m), while Healthy Happy will be ridden by De Sousa out of barrier one in the HK$20 million FWD Champions Mile (1600m).

Lor said he had asked Moreira to ride Master Eight, which has drawn barrier seven, in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize.

A winner of his first five starts, all with Moreira in the saddle, the horse’s form has tapered off which has left Lor searching for answers in the hope of turning things around.

“This time I tried to ask Joao to ride it for me to see if it’s any different,” Lor said.

Lor’s entry in the FWD Champions Mile, Healthy Happy, has drawn barrier one and is another horse from the stable that likes to lead.

Just back from Conghua this week, Lor said the six-year-old gelding likes to race fresh.

“I hope he is fresh enough for this coming Sunday,” he said. “When he comes back from Conghua, he usually runs better.”

Trainer Ricky Yiu said Voyage Bubble, which has drawn barrier five in the FWD Champions Mile for jockey Alexis Badel, had fully recovered from his HK$24 million BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) victory at Sha Tin on Sunday, 19 March.

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