Caspar Fownes confident Sky Field is a tremendous long-term project
March 31, 2021, 5:37:26 AM
Yet to reach and fulfil his true potential and pitted against the explosively-gifted Wellington, Sky Field will be given the opportunity to build both experience and profile when contesting the G2 Sprint Cup (1200m) at Sha Tin on Monday (5 April).
Caspar Fownes, the gelding's trainer, claims the sparingly raced son of Deep Field has the potential to advance to Group 1 business by the end of 2021, but admits the gelding wants more training.
“He's doing fine, and I'm sure he'll turn into a top horse at the right time; at this stage, with another six months under his belt, we'll probably see the best of him,” Fownes said of the chestnut.
“He's getting there – he ran well the other day (finishing third behind Wellington at Sha Tin in mid-March), I think the ranking of the race on Monday is against him this time, but he's gradually creeping into the field where he's beginning to make his presence known in bigger races.
“I believe he needs a little more experience at the top end, but he can definitely pull off a very, very fast last quarter, giving him a chance to win a major race in Hong Kong.”
“I believe he will be well into the triple digits by the end of the year, perhaps about 115-plus. If he can do it, he's almost there, but he's also practicing his trade.”
The dazzling speedster, who is currently ranked 102, began the 2020/21 season with a mark of 71.
Fownes will test a gear shift that he believes will be critical in the long run.
“He's had only a few rides, so I'm trying a Norton bit on him in a trackwork gallop and if that succeeds, he'll take that to the races and that could just be the making of him,” said the dual BMW Hong Kong Derby-winning handler.
“If he loves the bit, it may be the horse's making.”
Southern Legend will be rode by Fownes in the G2 Chairman's Trophy (1600m), where he will play against Waikuku and Ka Ying Star, among others.
“Southern Legend is good, he has a tiny field, and I'm sure he'll run his race,” Fownes said, referring to the gelding's primary goal as the G1 FWD Champions Mile on April 25 at Sha Tin.
“He's been preparing for the big one at the end of the month, but whatever he does on Monday would be better. He's had a good preparation in Conghua, and he looks good; he had a good trial the other day, and he's in good shape.
“He'll run well and be competitive, but he'll be at his peak on April 25th.”