Caspar Fownes is confident BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) winner Sky Darci has the quality and versatility to capitalise on favourable weight conditions to bolster the record of younger gallopers in the G3 Lion Rock Trophy Handicap (1600m) at Sha Tin on Sunday (30 May).
Sky Darci will carry just 115lb, a probable 1lb over his allotted 114lb – a significantly favourable impost, given four of five winners in the race’s brief history have carried 118lb or less with only Ka Ying Star (129lb) hefting more in 2020, when Tony Cruz’s charge became the first five-year-old to win the late-season contest.
Fownes is optimistic Sky Darci, to be ridden by Joao Moreira, can add his name to the winners’ list and post his seventh Hong Kong triumph from 13 starts.
“I’m extremely pleased, he’s had a couple of nice trials, he’s ready to go to the races,” Fownes said. “He’s come back nice and well, dropping back in trip now, he’s got a fresh pair of legs, nice small field, he’s going to be competitive. We still respect our opposition in those types of races.
“There are a few nice horses in there carrying lighter weight and obviously at the top end you’ve got Ka Ying (Star) and More Than This – he looks a good horse as well – but this race normally the lighter weighted horses have an advantage at the end of the season.
“We just had a nice freshen up with him, he’s got the miles in his legs to come back at this trip. More than anything, he’s ready to go to the races now and I’m very happy with him.
“He might have one more race after this just depending on how he runs and how he pulls up. If he gives us a big effort, there’s no reason why I wouldn’t give him one more race on the 20th of June.”