Big Party shaped like a potential top-liner when ascending the ranks last season and will get his chance to prove his merit in Group class when he takes his place in Sunday’s Gr3 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy Handicap run over 1000m at Sha Tin.
The grey heads into the straight track dash off a powerful victory at Happy Valley a week and a half ago – his fourth win and eighth career start.
But that was at 1200m and trainer Frankie Lor is hoping the shape of this weekend’s race will suit his charge as he returns to the minimum trip for the first time since a career debut fifth.
“If he gets cover, the 1000 metres should not be a problem for him. He needs to get some cover behind some horses, that’s better for him,” the handler said at Sha Tin on Friday.
“First-up last season, over 1000 metres, he had no cover and finished fifth and we saw it again first start this season (over 1200m), he jumped fast and had no cover all the way – it was only the last 50 metres he started to slow down. Last time, I asked Joao (Moreira) to try to get some cover and he was able to do it.”
Moreira sticks with the four-year-old, who will carry bottom-weight of 118lb. The field of seven also includes top-weight Regency Legend (132lb) and the John Moore-trained talent Thanks Forever (125lb), a three-time course and distance winner and the mount of Silvestre de Sousa.
Lor knows his charge faces no easy task despite the small field size.
“We’ll try but the race also has Thanks Forever and he’s quite strong, so we’ll see,” he said.