Championship leading trainer Caspar Fownes will launch a two-pronged assault on Sunday’s (18 October) G2 Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy Handicap (1600m) at Sha Tin when Southern Legend and Dances With Dragon take their places en route to December’s LONGINES Hong Kong International Races.
While Golden Sixty and Beauty Generation are set to renew their rivalry, Fownes has his pair in the mix to topple the favoured duo, something he has achieved dramatically in the past. The handler brought an end to Beauty Generation’s 10-race win streak in this contest last season with Rise High, before overthrowing the veteran champ again when Southern Legend won the G1 FWD Champions Mile in April.
But Fownes admits Sunday’s task will be a difficult one for both his entrants against the favoured two as they edge closer toward their December targets.
“Golden Sixty looks hard to beat and Beauty Generation also but I think third place is up for grabs. Dances With Dragon kept on coming (last time), he was beaten four lengths but now stepping up to the mile it’s going to be a bit better for him,” Fownes said.
Dances With Dragon finished seventh in last month’s G3 Celebration Cup Handicap (1400m), while Golden Sixty was a runaway victor ahead of Beauty Generation and Champion’s Way who shared second, with Southern Legend in fourth.
“I was very pleased with Southern Legend’s first-up run,” Fownes said. “He’s an eight-year-old, so I’m just trying to nurse him along and get him to give us one big performance when it really counts in December. But he looks a treat, he’s very healthy and I’m sure he’ll run a nice race.”