Horse Racing
Lightweight hope Adios takes aim at sizzling dirt finale

By Declan Schuster
28/03/2023 13:08

Adios is a two-time winner in Hong Kong.
Adios is a two-time winner in Hong Kong.

Trainer Frankie Lor is hopeful Adios can take advantage of his featherweight impost when he lines up in Wednesday night’s (29 March) red-hot Class 2 Tung Wan Handicap (1200m) at Sha Tin’s eight-race all-dirt fixture.

Adios rises in grade tomorrow night with 115lb assigned against proven dirt course performers Campione (131lb), Ka Ying Master (127lb) and Super Win Dragon (120lb), while Computer Patch (135lb), Nervous Witness (134lb) and Astrologer (126lb) also bolster the 12-runner finale.

“This time we have a light weight, Karis (Teetan) is on – Karis is always good on the dirt and the pace should be fast, suitable for us,” Lor said.

Adios was overhauled by Adefill in his dirt debut in Class 3 last start on 5 March. Adefill has been a revelation this season since switching surfaces to the dirt with three wins from three starts.

Adios attempted to make all that day, however, Lor isn’t expecting to try and do so again.

“Last time he led by himself, for me, it’s better when he has cover, so after this race we can know more,” Lor said. “Usually when you go up to this class and the other horses are quite strong, the light weight should help my horse.”

Nervous Witness makes his dirt debut – he also holds an entry for the G2 Sprint Cup (1200m) on 9 April at Sha Tin. Computer Patch does the same, while Super Win Dragon looks for his fourth win this term on the surface.

Adios will step away from gate eight in tomorrow night’s HK$2.64 million finale.

“Last time he ran good on the dirt, I checked the programme and this is a race I want to see him in because he has a light weight,” Lor said.

Adios is run down in a tight finish at Sha Tin.

One race prior, Lor saddles Youthful Deal in the Class 3 Tong Fuk Handicap (1200m).

“Last time he was a little bit disappointing on the turf, so we’re back on the dirt here and he’s won once on the dirt. A little problem is the draw – barrier 11,” Lor said.

Youthful Deal is a one-time winner from eight starts and he is yet to finish outside of the top-three on dirt from three runs.

“I hope he can win again on the dirt. I think both surfaces are still ok but you can see his win on the dirt looked better but I think the turf is still ok,” Lor said.

Champion rider Zac Purton hops up from barrier 11 with 120lb assigned.

Master Eight will chase a return to his best form when he lines up for Lor in the Sprint Cup on Sunday week after leading throughout in a dirt trial at Sha Tin this morning under Derek Leung. Lucky Sweynesse, Wellington, Courier Wonder and more are entered to run in the Sprint Cup.  

“Early he was really good, he could jump really fast and lead in front. Now that he’s getting older, he’s just a little bit slower than before,” Lor said.

Master Eight is yet to place this season. His best effort returned fourth in the G2 Premier Bowl Handicap (1200m) last October. He clocked 1m 11.87s for his effort over 1200m this morning.

“Usually, he trials really good on the dirt, if he can lead by himself, sure it’s better but sometimes in the race but when he has a wide draw he’s not fast enough to lead,” Lor said.

Cordyceps Six and Beauty Joy also stepped out in the same trial to finish second and third, respectively.

Wednesday’s (29 March) eight-race all-dirt fixture at Sha Tin kicks off with the Class 5 Hap Mun Bay Handicap (1200m) at 7.15pm.