Southern Legend dug deep into his gritty reserves when fending off Beauty Generation to earn a first G1 win in last month’s FWD Champions Mile and trainer Caspar Fownes anticipates another tough effort will be needed in Sunday’s (31 May) G3 Lion Rock Trophy Handicap (1600m) at Sha Tin.
There is no Beauty Generation this time but Southern Legend will contend with a hefty 133lb on his back, as well as a concession of 20lb to more than half of his 10 opponents, some of which are aiming to prove that they too won’t be out of place in the top races next term.
“It’s always tough when you drop back into these grades with the heavy weight, giving some half-decent horses a bit of weight,” Fownes said. “But I’m sure he’ll still acquit himself very well, I’m sure he’ll be competitive and if we can win under 133lb it will be unbelievable.”
Southern Legend has been boxing around the top races for three season now and Champions Mile success was just reward for the two-time SIN G1 Kranji Mile winner, who will officially turn eight years old on 1 August.
“You wouldn’t know he’s getting on in years, he’s in top form,” Fownes said. “He’s been really well and we’re very happy with him.”