Savabeel’s son hot at happy valley

WS graduate Flame Hero hugged the rails under jockey Derek Leung to open his stakes account in Hong Kong last night. The six-year-old claimed the Gr 3 January Cup over 1800 metres at Happy Valley, his seventh career victory.

“Previously, he has shown he was afraid of other horses, but he is more mature now and showed no fear,” Leung said. “The instruction was to let the horse run comfortably after the start. He did not show fast early speed as before, but travelled very smoothly on the rail. When I pushed the button, he responded very well.”

Trainer Peter Ho had targeted the January Cup some time ago as one of Flame Hero’s major aims. “He was second in the Happy Valley Vase at the end of last season over this trip,” he said. “I planned on this being one of his main targets for the season.”

A son of Savabeel, the gelding is out of the Gr 3 Cuddle Stakes winner Rhysess, in turn a daughter of the Gr 3 Lowland Stakes winner Sahrhys. They were both raced by their Wanganui trainer Chris Turner, who co-bred Flame Hero with WS.

Flame Hero is Savabeel’s 45th individual stakes winner overall, and is his 6th individual stakes winner this season behind Kawi, Soriano, Lucia Valentina, Cold Play and Southern Sav.

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