10/09/2017 12:20PM

Premiere stands out in Kwoon Chung Bus Cup Handicap


A recent win by Premiere in a five-furlong handicap on turf at Sha Tin Racecourse will make the 4-year-old gelding a popular choice in Wednesday’s $238,305 Kwoon Chung Bus Cup Handicap at five furlongs on turf at Happy Valley Racecourse in Hong Kong.

Premiere is the only entrant in a field of 12 with a win in the current Hong Kong season, which began in early September. Trained by John Size, Premiere led throughout a five-furlong race Sept. 16 to win by 1 1/4 lengths as the favorite.

The victory ended a six-race losing streak. Premiere won three consecutive races from early December 2016 to early February of this year.

Jockey Karis Teetan will ride Premiere on Wednesday for the first time since early May, when he was aboard the gelding for a seventh-place finish in a five-furlong race at Sha Tin.

The Kwoon Chung Bus Cup is the seventh of eight races on the Happy Valley program, which begins at 7:15 a.m., Eastern. The feature race has a post time of 10:15 a.m. Wagering is available on DRFBets.com.

Premiere could be challenged for the lead by Adventurer, who won 2 of 9 starts in the 2016-17 season. Adventurer was fifth behind Premiere on Sept. 16, fading in the final furlong to lose by three lengths.

Premiere will carry 124 pounds, well below 133-pound topweight Archippus, who was second in the Sept. 16 race. An eight-time winner, Archippus is winless in 10 starts since December, and has been second three times in that span.

If the pace is too quick, Mr Genuine and Country Melody could be the beneficiaries. Mr Genuine, a 6-year-old gelding, has been fourth and second in his first two starts of the current season in races at six furlongs.

Country Melody was third behind Premiere on Sept. 16. This will be Country Melody’s first start for trainer Frankie Lor, a former exercise rider and assistant trainer in Hong Kong who opened a stable this season.