A masterful ride by Bowman secures Lor's first Derby

4 min read
Champion jockey Hugh Bowman added another prestigious Group 1 BMW Hong Kong Derby to his CV on Sunday after a masterful ride on former Kris Lees trained gelding Furore (NZ) gave Frankie Lor his first Derby win.

Furore (NZ) (Pierro) was positioned perfectly by Bowman just off the pace and was dominant in the finish denying leading trainer John Size a fourth Hong Kong Derby title with the short priced favourite Waikuku (Harbour Watch {Ire}).

This was Bowman's second Hong Kong Derby win following Werther in 2016.

“Today I decided to change tactics from a bad draw and threw caution to the wind needing a bit of luck but that luck fell into place and we put ourselves into a position to get it and it came to us," said Bowman.

“When the pace slowed I was able to get off the back of Zac (Purton) on Dark Dream and from then I was very confident.”

“He was more suited to this trip. I am so proud of Frankie and the horse and what they have been able to achieve."

Second season success for Lor

Frankie Lor is serving only his second season as a trainer in Hong Kong and has taken all before him in a short time. For four years he was John Size’s assistant trainer, and with John Moore prior to that. The results since stepping out on his own at the start of the 2017-18 season have been remarkable with 104 winners to his credit so far, including two winners at the Hong Kong International Race meeting in December.

Furore is now the biggest star in his stable after landing him Hong Kong racing’s ultimate prize.

"I am so proud of Frankie and the horse and what they have been able to achieve." - Hugh Bowman

A son of Pierro out of Redoute’s Choice mare Stormy Choice, Furore raced in Australia six times before joining Lor’s powerful team.

Trainer Frankie Lor

He won four races in succession on the NSW provincial circuit before going on to compete in the 2018 Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) where he was third behind D’Argento (So You Think {NZ}) and the Group 1 ATC Derby (2000m) (6th placed).

During that period of his racetrack career he carried the Australian Bloodstock colours and many members of the original ownership group along with Kris Lees were on track amongst the huge crowd at Sha Tin to witness his Hong Kong Derby win.

“We are thrilled for the new owner, Hugh Bowman and Justin Bahen who we brokered the deal with.”

“It was great to see so many of his previous connections including Kris Lees on course to cheer him on,” said Australian Bloodstock’s Jamie Lovett.

Kris Lees and Furore's Australian connections were at Sha Tin to cheer on their former charge

Another Kiwi Derby win

Furore was bred in New Zealand and sold by Haunui Farm at the New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale for $NZ210,000. New Zealand Bloodstock can now lay claim to having sold more Hong Kong Derby winners than any other sales company in the world. Seven of the last 11 winners of the race carry the NZ suffix.

Furore was ticketed for the yearling sales at Karaka in early 2016, right about the same time that his then 4-year-old half-brother Blizzard (Starcraft {NZ}) was being prepared for his own run at the 4-Year-Old Classics in Hong Kong.

Mark Chitty from Haunui Stud explained the colt had the right temperament for the Hong Kong racing environment.

“He was a horse that had a great attitude. He coped with the pressure very well." - Haunui Stud's Mark Chitty

“He was a horse that had a great attitude. He coped with the pressure very well,” he said. “He was one of those horses where anyone could handle him. Some yearlings, when they get to sales, they become a one-leader horse, they get a bit uptight, but he could handle everything very easily and I think that stood him in great stead as a racehorse as well.”

Furore as a yearling

“He was a nice, medium-sized horse who was very easy to deal with in terms of his growth development plan,” Chitty recollected. “He was the kind of horse that you really didn’t have to do anything special with. He just grew up very easily. "

The result is a huge boost for Coolmore stallion Pierro (Lonhro) and further proof of Lonhro’s successful influence over mares by Danehill’s champion sire son Redoute’s Choice.

The Pierro x Redoute’s Choice cross has had a remarkable 14% strike rate of stakes winners to runners, including Group 1 winners Levendi and Arcadia Queen from the 50 starters. Pierro’s sire Lonhro has also produced G1 winner Kementari from a Redoute’s Choice mare.

Pierro has 14 yearlings entered at next month’s Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

Furore winning the HK Derby