Frankie Lor is keeping the faith in Winning Dreamer’s ability to rediscover his winning groove as he prepares the gifted sprinter for Sunday’s (5 September) traditional season-opening feature, the Class 1 HKSAR Chief Executive’s Cup (1200m) at Sha Tin.
“He looks like he has more to give, I think he does and hopefully he can forget his issue – I have confidence in him,” Lor said.
After stringing together six wins from his first six outings, the Deep Field gelding has since managed only one top-three finish from his last four runs, a dip in form which prompted Lor to sideline the five-year-old at Conghua for close to two months, beginning in the middle of May.
“Last season when he raced over 1400 (metres) we found blood and I think from that he lost his confidence,” Lor said.
Having shown extraordinary potential early on, the 100-rater was found with blood in his trachea following his sixth-placed effort in last season’s G3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup Handicap (1400m), the first of four consecutive defeats.
“We had two more races and he looked like he improved a bit but then his last run he ran well, the jockey came back and said his confidence had returned, but we decided to give him two months off,” Lor explained.
Lor hopes Winning Dreamer’s form lapse is attributable to a physical issue rather than a question of talent.
“I hope so, I want to see if he’s that good or if he is just staying where he is – I think he can do it, though,” Lor said.
The New Zealand-bred returns to racing to contest the weekend’s HK$3.15 million contest following a trial last Tuesday (24 August), where he crossed the line third under a firm hold from jockey Vincent Ho, while Super Axiom tore clear in first position over 1050m on the Sha Tin dirt.