Dream Winner returns in quality dash at Happy Valley

Dream Winner
Dream Winner is a three-time winner in Hong Kong.

Dream Winner set the track alight last season with three wins from as many starts and Frankie Lor’s former boom sprinter emerges from the sidelines on Wednesday at Happy Valley.

The Exosphere four-year-old won his first three races by nearly 10 lengths combined, before returning this term for five starts – all of which have seen him go unplaced, while his best effort was a close-up fourth behind Group 1 performers Lucky With You and Flying Ace.

The 81-rating Dream Winner hasn’t raced since January due to a setback which required remedial surgery and a stint at Conghua. He has trialled twice ahead of his comeback.

“He had a knee problem; we removed a chip. It took a long time and he’s since trialled twice at Conghua, but it’s not easy to find a race for him. So, we’ll run him here. He’s raced at Happy Valley once before,” Lor said.

Dream Winner (120lb) faces stiff opposition, including the rapidly improving Copartner Prance (128lb), who is in quest of a sixth straight triumph. Superb Capitalist (132lb) is also engaged and chases a streak of his own – three wins in a row.

Dream Winner crossed the line first in a recent barrier trial at Conghua over 1000m on turf.

“We’ll see how he runs; it’s been a long time since he has raced. He trialled ok at Conghua, but the trials are different to Sha Tin,” Lor said. “I think this horse needs a little bit further. He had gate speed in his first season, so he could win three times over 1000 metres, but I think 1400 metres is his distance.”

Seasons Wit (127lb), Gummy Gummy (125lb), Harmony N Blessed (124lb), Copartner Ambition (122lb), Sing Dragon (122lb) and Reward Smile (120lb) also feature.

Engaged in an enthralling battle for the 2023/24 trainers’ championship, Pierre Ng takes five runners to Happy Valley as he aims to reinforce his lead over Francis Lui (65-63).

Ka Ying Cheer (122lb) headlines the handler’s quintet, drawn sweetly in barrier one with Alexis Badel up.

“Hopefully we can sit behind the pace or just roll along with the leader. He’s getting more and more mature,” Ng said.

The 63-rater had a short break during this season. He has won once from eight outings and boasts five other top three finishes across his career.

“He’s still improving and he’s a bit like Greenwich. We gave him a break in the middle of the season and planned to bring him back out late in the season,” Ng said.

Greenwich won last Sunday at Sha Tin after an extended break. Ka Ying Cheer returned in April for three races after last featuring at the end of December, 2023.

“Ka Ying Cheer has been running well and he was unlucky last start, especially with that draw (10),” Ng said.

Ka Ying Cheer missed by a neck to California Touch last outing. The four-year-old faces formidable opposition, including Kaholo Angel (135lb), Happy Fat Cat (131lb), California Deeply (123lb) and Kyrus Dragon (121lb).

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