Right Choice has done little wrong in his career to date and on Sunday at Sha Tin the Frankie Lor-trained galloper will take his next step up the ranks with a first start at a mile in the Kowloon Cricket Club Centenary Cup Handicap (1600m).
“He’s by Mastercraftsman so the distance should be no problem; I think the mile will actually be better for him.” Lor said on Friday morning after barrier trials at Sha Tin.
The handler is less sure about the four-year-old’s first attempt at Class 2. The likeable 84-rated talent has climbed into the grade with four wins from five starts, having started off a rating of 52 in a 1200m Class 4 back in November. Each subsequent race has been at 1400m.
“Now he’s into Class 2 he has a light weight (117lb), which will help, but he’s up in class so I can't say he’ll win but he should run a nice race,” Lor said.
“He’s an easy horse to train. He looked a little bit light and not too strong before he came here but when I started to train him he did well and looked okay. He trialled well and then showed that he has some ability when he won his first race.”
Silvestre de Sousa has partnered Right Choice in each of his last four races and will be in the plate again before jetting back to Britain on Sunday night to commence a retainer with King Power Racing.
Last time out, the Brazilian overcame the wide gate and slotted Right Choice a handy fourth. The gelding seemed to appreciate every stride down the home stretch, giving Lor his career 100th win in commanding style. But the handler was circumspect as to just how much more improvement the New Zealand-bred might hold.
“He’s improved every time, so if he can do that again maybe he could keep going up the ratings. This race will tell us a lot more about his progress and what he might do in the future,” Lor said.
The John Size-trained Time To Celebrate tops the field of nine under Joao Moreira. The 100-rated five-year-old easily won a six-runner Class 2 at the course and distance last month, for which his rating increased by 10 points. -HKJC