Caspar Fownes is aiming to reaffirm his status as Hong Kong’s longtime “King of the Valley” when he gears up for Happy Valley’s final fixture on Wednesday night trailing fellow trainer Francis Lui (31-30) for the most wins at the city circuit this season.
Fownes is the most successful handler in history at Happy Valley. He saddles seven chances in his bid to reel in Lui, while his heroics at the track are endless and include a sparkling six-timer back in 2010.
“There’s only one ‘King of the Valley’ – of course I can do it,” quipped Fownes, who boasts an unmatched 570 career wins at Happy Valley.
A winner two starts back, Ace Talent (125lb) lines up for Fownes. He steps away from barrier six with jockey Vincent Ho aboard.
“He’s been racing consistently – he won two starts ago and was second last start. There’s no reason why he’s not going to be competitive again,” Fownes said.
The Swiss Ace four-year-old faces impressive debut winner Fast Serve (134lb) as well as Savvy Delight (135lb), King Invincible (128lb), Strive For Glory (117lb) and more.
The American-bred Sunny Star (133lb) joined Fownes’ stable as a mid-season transfer. The six-year-old faces 11 rivals, again with Ho aboard for his former master Fownes.
“Back to Happy Valley, Vincent Ho rides. I think he’s actually looking for 1800 metres now, he’s stayed on well his last couple of runs. I think the 1800 metres will suit him,” Fownes said.
A five-time winner in Hong Kong, Sunny Star has prevailed three times at Happy Valley.
Galaxy Witness rounds out Fownes’ arsenal. Ho rides again and also partners Jazz Steed and Loyal Ambition for the trainer.
“It’s his (Galaxy Witness) first time at the Valley but he has trialled there once before. We took him there a couple of seasons ago and he trialled well. We’ve waited a while to get him there and I’ll be trying my best to get the bonus with him,” Fownes said.
The Star Witness gelding remains eligible for a HK$1 million PPG Bonus for his first win in Class 2 while rated above 80 and before he turns the age of five.