Frankie Looking At A Happy December

Medium terms plans in place

Frankie Lor is eyeing a triumphant return to Hong Kong’s biggest stage and the trainer remains hopeful Happy Together is a horse with the potential to take him there.

Victorious at the 2018 LONGINES Hong Kong International Races with Mr Stunning and Glorious Forever, Lor has one eye cast on the 2024 HK$40 million Gr1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup in December as a likely long-term goal for Happy Together.

Happy Together is a six-time winner in Hong Kong (Pic – HKJC)

The star five-year-old went to another level by finishing fourth last start in the HK$28 million Gr1 FWD QEII Cup at the end of April. He will feature in Sunday week’s (23 June) HK$4.2 million Gr3 Premier Plate Handicap at Sha Tin.

“He trialled at Conghua last week and he trialled well (finishing first). I will run him in the Gr3 over 1800 metres. I think he’s still improving, at least, I hope,” Lor said.

Happy Together finished a quarter length ahead of Hishi Iguazu (fifth) in the FWD QEII Cup, which was won by Romantic Warrior. Hishi Iguazu is a two-time LONGINES Hong Kong Cup placegetter in 2021 and 2023.

“He’ll have a rest after this run ahead of next season. If he can improve then maybe I can target the Hong Kong Cup,” Lor said.

The bay’s biggest win in Hong Kong came in the HK$4.2 million G3 January Cup Handicap (1800m) under familiar ally Alexis Badel, who partners the 110-rater again.

“He always tries hard – he’s a good horse,” Lor said.

Lor is eager to improve on this season’s 42 wins next term. His personal best came in 2021/22 as the city’s champion trainer with an astonishing 90 victories.

“I have 42 wins this season. I hope I can get a few more, but looking to next season I have over 25 new horses at this moment. Let’s see if the new horses are good, next season, I will be back,” Lor said.

California Spangle trialled over 1200m at Sha Tin Tuesday 11 June, clocking 1m 10.30s under Brenton Avdulla behind Top Gun. The speedster is being aimed at the HK$4.2 million Gr3 Premier Cup Handicap on 23 June.

“I’m happy with him. He’s ticking over well. The horse is in good order and it was pretty simple. He pulled up well, so that’s the main thing,” Avdulla said.

Fellow Tony Cruz trainee La City Blanche finished down the track in the same trial, while Five G Patch was seventh in the second batch. The pair finished third and second, respectively, in the HK$13 million Gr1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup last month behind Rebel’s Romance.

Galaxy Patch could also feature in the Premier Cup, one start after his HK$4.2 million Gr3 Lion Rock Trophy Handicap success at the start of this month.

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