Zac Purton wants to see the front-runners match his mount’s name in the Class 3 Hong Kong Rugby Union Cup Handicap (1200m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday, 18 April.
Fast Most Furious (125lb) carries the ‘unlucky loser’ tag out of his latest race, a nose second to Smart Boy at the course and distance last month. The Lope De Vega gelding had looked the most likely winner half-way down the straight but got tied up amongst runners, Purton eventually nudging open a narrow gap for which he picked up a two-day suspension.
“That was unfortunate,” Purton said before barrier trials at Sha Tin this morning (Tuesday, 18 April). “The speed was on last time and that suited him, but he’s going to need a genuinely run race again.
“He’s a horse that probably wants a little bit farther than 1200 (metres) but the speed in the race enabled him and another couple of horses to hit the line like they did last time. But if it’s going to be a sit-and-sprint, that’s not going to suit him.”
Fast Most Furious broke his maiden at his second and final start in Ireland, over 1427m. That was in July, 2016 and the David Hall-trained gelding made a belated Hong Kong bow in September last year; with only three starts under his belt since, Purton believes the chestnut has something to give but still has plenty to learn, too.
“Even when I did get the split last time, I thought he’d got through there to win and he seemed to pick his head up as he dashed through; once he got past the other horse, he thought his job was done a little bit. He’s still a lightly-raced horse, working things out, but it was a promising run last time,” he said.
“He hasn’t done a lot since that run so he’s still on the fresh side. He’s a horse that has had problems, so we just hope that he can turn up and reproduce that performance again.”
Fast Most Furious has drawn gate five in the 12-runner contest.
Also eyeing the night’s silverware is the David Ferraris-trained Amazing (129lb), a good seventh on his return to action at the course and distance three weeks ago. The Medaglia D’Oro gelding had not been seen at the races since completing a hat-trick of seconds to round out his first Hong Kong campaign last July.
“He feels really good,” said Karis Teetan, who galloped the four-year-old on Monday morning and will be in the plate again on race night.
“David said that in his first race he just wasn’t ready yet; in the last bit he just felt it, fitness-wise, he just didn’t go through and finish off the race. This time the horse feels good, he feels fresh and like he’s ready to go again.”
Amazing, who was side-lined for the first part of the season due to an injury to his near-fore, will break from gate nine, a factor that Teetan feels could be a negative.
“The draw’s a bit awkward but if he’d had a good draw I’d be going in very confident that he’d be right there, so we’ll see how things work out. He does like the Valley, though, and he’s better than his seventh last time,” the Mauritian rider said.
“He seems to be over everything now, he feels very good in the morning and he’s a nice horse.”
The field also features last start winner Prince Harmony (127lb), trained by Richard Gibson and set to benefit from Jack Wong’s 5lb claim.
Purton, meanwhile, will also team with Hall in race five. Dr Proactive has drawn the inside barrier in the Class 4 Shek Kip Mei Handicap (1000m).
“He’s shown glimpses of ability and then has seemed to wander off the rails at times,” the former champion jockey said. “But he’s come up with barrier one, he’s got the blinkers going on and he’s going to get his chance to show us what he can do.
“There’s a bit of speed in the race so it’s just a matter of getting the right run and hoping he’s going to do what he’s threatened to do.”
The eight-race action starts at 7.15pm with the Class 5 Jordan Handicap (1200m) and concludes at 10.50pm with the Class 3 Tsim Sha Tsui Handicap (1650m).