To call Frankie Lor the dirt track king would be to ignore his ever-broadening scope of accomplishments in only his second season training. But the numbers are hard to ignore.

The handler went into tonight’s (Wednesday, 3 April) Sha Tin fixture with a win strike rate of 27.5 percent for the season on the officially-titled all-weather track.

Star Luck’s score in section one of the Class 4 Mei Tin Handicap took him briefly to a remarkable 40 percent win strike rate in 1200m contests on the surface this campaign. The three-year-old built on a solid first run 10 days ago to score by a length and a quarter under Karis Teetan.

“His first start he was drawn 12 and that wasn’t easy: he used a lot of energy in front and that’s why he couldn't finish. He improved for that and tonight he was drawn two, which was much easier. He jumped fast, he relaxed and Karis let him lead the race,” Lor said.

“I’ll look at the programme and if there’s nothing on the dirt I’ll put him to the turf – that should be ok, I don't think it would be a problem.”

Lor’s strike rate took a hit when Simply Big failed by a diminishing nose to reel in Me Tsui’s exciting young dirt track galloper Winner Supreme.

Apprentice Victor Wong blazed the lead on Tsui’s Rothesay gelding, splitting the field into two groups as Simply Big and Joyful Moments galloped hard to keep up. The rest were adrift and working.

Winner Supreme had three lengths on the field at the 500m mark and was still two lengths clear with 150m to go, but 10lb claimer Alfred Chan, seeking a first Hong Kong win, kept on coming aboard Simply Big to make it a thriller. The 1.8 favourite, though, held on to make it three wins from five starts.

“He’s still a three-year-old so I don't want to push him too hard, there’s plenty of time for him to improve,” Tsui said.

“I’ll keep him to 1200 metres on the dirt; I don't want to confuse him at this stage by going to the turf.”

Listening’s Conghua benefits

Just Not Listening overturned the short odds favourite Coby Oppa to take the Class 3 Hin Yiu Handicap (1200m) and trainer John Moore was quick to extol the benefits of the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Conghua Racecourse complex.

The 11/1 shot made all under Chad Schofield, kicking off the turn to score by two-and-a-half-lengths and seal his third win this term.

“He got a flier,” Moore said. “He jumped superbly and that was the main reason for winning, Chad Schofield got him to the front and he was able to travel and hit the line.”

The victory came off a 15-week break, five of those at Conghua, having headed up to the Mainland centre on a Christmas Day convoy.

“We know he’s a ‘fresh horse’ because he won first-up so this was just a repeat after a nice little break in China,” the handler continued.

“He’d just had enough – it was too much – so we sent him over to Conghua for a break in the paddock and then put him back into work when he was ready.

“He was in the paddock for three weeks and that’s very important. He could just settle down, eat grass for three to four hours a day and then boxed at night – get some good tucker at night – so it’s a big plus to enabling him to come back and do that tonight.”

Moore believes there’s more to come from the 65-rated Star Witness gelding, who is not exactly straightforward.

“He’s been fantastic and there’s probably another one in him. He is very quirky so a lot of credit goes to Romain (Clavreul), my work rider,” Moore added.

Teetan’s win on Star Luck brought up a race-to-race double for the Mauritian, who took the Class 4 Sha Kok Handicap (1650m) on the David Ferraris-trained General Dino.

Joao Moreira produced a sweet front-running ride on Ping Hai Treasure in the finale, the Class 3 Mei Lam Handicap (1800m). The John Size-trained galloper opened his Hong Kong account at start seven, winning by two lengths on his dirt track debut.

Trainer Michael Chang is bottom of the trainers’ premiership but the astute handler has his horses in form and he took his season’s return to 11 wins when Keep Winning broke his maiden under Derek Leung in the Class 5 opener.

Richard Gibson and Zac Purton struck with the night’s easiest winner, Corre Rapido, who rolled along in front to snare the Class 5 Sun Tin Wai Handicap (1200m).

Keith Yeung is two meetings into his return from injury and has two wins, both courtesy of trainer Benno Yung after Coolceleb landed section two of the Class 4 Mei Tin Handicap.