Witness Hunter will attempt to wrap up a hat-trick when he takes on seven fellow young guns in the Griffin Trophy (1400m) at Sha Tin’s pre-Christmas fixture on Sunday, 23 December.
Frankie Lor’s Star Witness three-year-old has looked a cut above the grade in Class 4 handicaps at his last two starts, closing strongly for cosy victories under Zac Purton. With Hong Kong’s champion jockey suspended for the Christmas period, in-form Brazilian ace Silvestre de Sousa takes the reins for a contest that in recent years has gone to the likes of two-time G1 winner Pakistan Star and BMW Hong Kong Derby hero Luger.
“He’s in good form,” Lor said during this morning’s (Friday, 21 December) track work session at Sha Tin. “He’s only a three-year-old so I gave him a break – more than a month – after his last run. I gave him two more barrier trials and then straight to this race.”
The HK$2 million eight-runner contest is for three-year-olds which were unraced when they arrived in Hong Kong.
This year’s Griffin Trophy also features the Danny Shum-trained Perfect Match – another on a hat-trick after winning his last two – while Richard Gibson will saddle the Hong Kong International Sale Graduate Nordic Warrior, a full-brother to European champion sprinter Slade Power.
“Perfect Match will be hard to beat,” Lor opined. “Later on I think Witness Hunter will go over farther than this distance. He’s still improving so it’s hard to say at this moment just how much he might improve over time but I hope he can go up to Class 2 and then we’ll see.”
Dream on Classic trail