Richard Gibson has a team of three representatives entered at Happy Valley on Wednesday across the eight-race fixture including Loving A Boom (120lb) in the Class 2 Wong Chuk Hang Handicap (1200m).
“He’s become a real favourite amongst the fans and we get lots of messages about him,” the handler said. “He’s been very consistent the last two seasons at the Valley — we’re lucky to train horses like this.”
The Irish-bred son of Acclamation has proven himself as an incredibly consistent performer with 14 top-three efforts to his name in Hong Kong.
“He’s got a very distinctive style of running. He’s got to come off the speed and that’s why he hasn’t won many races. Everything has to go right at the Valley for him to be able to produce his good turn of speed at the right moment,” Gibson said.
A one-time winner, the gelding’s remarkable reliability saw him finish no worse than fifth last term, including seven top-three efforts from 11 runs in all.
“He’s a year older. He ran at the back-end of last season and he worked nicely on the turf in a piece of work the other day. I’m happy with his shape,” Gibson said.
Loving A Boom is expected to go well again at Happy Valley, picture HKJC
The six-year-old steps away from gate five with Alexis Badel in the plate in a hot finale against 11 opponents including Grateful Heart (133lb), Handsome Bo Bo (131lb), Decrypt (129lb), Harmony And Rich (129lb), Golden Dash (124lb), Igniting (121lb), Scores Of Fun (121lb), Shining Gem (121lb), Amazing One Plus (120lb), Man Star (120lb) and Sight Success (119lb).
“He’s a nice horse. He tries very hard and he has a big heart, so maybe early on this season in Class 2 with a light weight he will find a way. Of course, he’ll need everything to go his way. The draw is decent, so it could help as there might be a lot of pace in the race. I feel like he should have a very good chance to do well,” Badel said.
Earlier on the card, the Douglas Whyte-trained Simply Fluke bids for a hat-trick of wins at the city circuit in the Class 3 Tai Shue Wan Handicap (1200m).
“He seems to have started off where he left off [at the end of last season] — his trial at Conghua 10 days ago was as good as it’s been,” Whyte said.
The gelding is a five-time winner from 27 starts in Hong Kong, with four of his wins coming over tomorrow night’s course and distance.
Wednesday’s eight-race fixture at Happy Valley commences at 7.15pm (local time) with the Class 5 Heung Yip Handicap (1800m).