Glorious Forever (126lb) has a Group 1 pedigree and after an impressive Hong Kong breakthrough last start the British import will attempt to keep on with the tough ascent to that lofty grade when he lines up in Sunday’s (8 July) Class 2 Hoi Ha Handicap (2000m) at Sha Tin.
Jockey Zac Purton was in the plate for the Archipenko gelding’s four-length cruise in a Class 3 1800m handicap at the track last time out. The man currently with a three-win lead at the top of the jockeys’ premiership is also the regular partner of the four-year-old’s big brother, Time Warp. The Australian ace rode that powerful front-runner to G1 wins in the LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m) and Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) earlier this term.
“Their racing styles are very similar,” Purton said at Sha Tin this morning, Friday, 6 July. “They’re both on-pace runners but Time Warp doesn’t have the best action in the world, he doesn’t move that fluently, whereas this fella seems to move a lot better, he’s nicer to ride. Hopefully that means he’ll be a nicer horse!”
Trainer Frankie Lor hopes that, too. The first-season handler, second in the premiership behind his old boss John Size, admitted that his charge is an “exciting” prospect.
“Glorious Forever looked fantastic last time, so we’ll find out if he can go up the grades,” Lor said.
Glorious Forever landed a 10-furlong handicap at his final start in England last year and won at his third attempt in Hong Kong, having been pipped by a nose over 1800m the time before.
“It was a nice effort to win, he put the writing on the wall at his previous start and he was able to back it up,” Purton said. “He felt like he was in a good rhythm going to the line; whether he’s pressured and finds more, I’m not quite sure, but hopefully he doesn’t have to find any more.
“They’re different races, the 1800 (metres) to the 2000 (metres), obviously there’s more pressure going into the first corner but he’s drawn a nice gate (3) and he should be able to get forward again. I’ll just get him in his rhythm and see how it goes. He felt last time like he wasn’t getting tired towards the line, anyway.”