In-form Lor to star on the dirt

Frankie Lor has enjoyed a stellar start to the 2021-22 racing season.

Hong Kong racing continues at Sha Tin on Wednesday night for an eight-race all-dirt programme under lights. The Class 1 Fo Tan Handicap (1650m) is highest-rated race on the card, which sees trainer Frankie Lor’s dirt specialist KINGS SHIELD return to his pet track and distance.

KINGS SHIELD’S Hong Kong all-weather record of four wins and a second placing from 10 starts stands him out as one of best dirt horses in the jurisdiction, so you can safely put the pen through his last-start 12th placing on the turf (21 starts for two third placings on the grass) when beaten 17.25 lengths.

Two starts ago, KINGS SHIELD put paid to his rivals with a soft 2.5-length victory at this track and distance, where his record now stands at a 50 per cent win strike rate. Having trialled very well since his last run, he looks primed to bounce back.

Kings Shield stretches clear to nail his fourth win on the dirt.

Trainer John Size’s untapped five-year-old SILVER EXPRESS brings the X-factor to the race after a soft win over the mile on turf 31 days ago. Now a two-time winner from seven locally, the grey appears to have more to come and just needs to handle the dirt the first time to be playing a part in the finish.

Silver Express bolts in.

Elsewhere, talented four-year-old EVERYONE’S VICTORY can get back to his winning ways in the Class 4 Sha Tin Wai Handicap (1200m) coming up in race 6.

EVERYONE’S VICTORY is one win and four placings from 10 starts so far but seems to be on an upwards trajectory into his second preparation of racing.

After finishing 2.5 lengths into second place in his second-up run in late October, the Deep Field gelding put it all together to break his duck third-up, letting down powerfully to draw clear by a facile 2.25 lengths.

Dictated to by a wide barrier last start 11 days ago, he was eased back early before charging home from ninth place at the 400m, while standing the lead speed 6.25 lengths, to check home 0.75 lengths into second place.

This week’s race is a much easier contest where EVERYONE’S VICTORY looks very hard to hold out for the in-form Frankie Lor stable, who currently leads the trainers’ premiership on 30 wins to John Size’s 28 and Tony Cruz’s 22.