Lucky Sweynesse Back To Winning Ways In Jockey Club Sprint

Lucky Sweynesse | HKJC photo


“He got the job done.”

Hardly a ringing post-race endorsement from jockey Zac Purton after champion Lucky Sweynesse (NZ) (Sweynesse {Aus}) snapped a baby two-race skid in Sunday's G2 BOCHK Private Banking Jockey Club Sprint at Sha Tin. But a win is a win is a win, as he became the first horse since Gold-Fun (Ire) (Le Vie dei Colori {GB}) in 2015 to take the race under the five-pound penalty assigned to Group 1 winners. He'll next look to win his first G1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint after finishing a very unlucky sixth at odds-on last December.

Never the quickest into stride, the 5-year-old was under a busy ride early as Victor the Winner (Aus) (Toronado {Ire}), who enjoyed a 20-pound pull in the weights when defeating the champ in the featured Class 1 on opening day of the season Sept. 10, enjoyed a reasonably soft time of things up front. Steered out wide for the drive, Lucky Sweynesse had aim on the pacesetter, but needed the length of the straight to finally claw past, scoring by a short head. Wellington (Aus) (All Too Hard {Aus}), last year's international Sprint winner and having his first run for Jamie Richards and first since finishing down the field when well-backed in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee S. at Royal Ascot, ran meritoriously in third.

“He's sort of getting back to his best,” Purton added. “He's not quite there yet but he took another step in the right direction today and he's going to need to be better next time.”

Among those pointing for the Hong Kong Sprint are Highfield Princess (Fr) (Night of Thunder {Ire}), who became a four-time Group 1 winner in the G1 Prix de l'Abbaye, and Aesop's Fables (Ire) (No Nay Never), a latest third in the GI Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint after finishing third in the Abbaye.

Sunday, Sha Tin, Hong Kong
BOCHK PRIVATE BANKING JOCKEY CLUB SPRINT-G2, HK$5,350,000, Sha Tin, 11-19, 3yo/up, 1200mT, 1:08.42, gd.
1–LUCKY SWEYNESSE (NZ), 128, g, 5, by Sweynesse (Aus)
1st Dam: Madonna Mia (NZ) (SW-NZ, $134,764), by Red Clubs (Ire)
2nd Dam: Hill of Hope (Aus), by Danehill
3rd Dam: Macozie (Aus), by Marscay (Aus)
(NZ$90,000 2yo '20 NZBRTR). O-Cheng Ming Leung, Cheng Yu Ting, Cheng Mei Mei & Cheng Yu Wai; B-P L Dombroski, Explosive Breeding Ltd & S A Sharrock; T-Manfred Man; J-Zac Purton; HK$2,996,000. Lifetime Record: Ch. Sprinter & MG1SW-HK, 20-14-4-1, HK$56,008,900. *Full to Signora Nera (NZ), G1SP-Aus, $145,027. Werk Nick Rating: A++. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Victor the Winner (Aus), 123, g, 5, Toronado (Ire)–Noetic (Aus), by Cape Cross (Ire). (A$180,000 Ylg '20 INGMAR). O-Chu Yun Lau; B-A Sangster (Vic); T-Danny Shum; J-Karis Teetan; HK$1,123,500.
3–Wellington (Aus), 128, g, 7, All Too Hard (Aus)–Mihiri (Aus), by More Than Ready. (A$70,000 Ylg '18 MMGCYS). O-Mr & Mrs Michael Cheng Wing On & Jeffrey Cheng Man Cheong; B-Kia Ora Stud Pty Ltd, David Paradise, Steve McCann (NSW); T-Jamie Richards; J-Alexis Badel; HK$615,250.
Margins: NK, 3/4, 2 1/4. Odds: 3-10, 9-1, 51-10.
Also Ran: Sight Success (Aus), Fantastic Treasure (Aus), Duke Wai (NZ), Super Wealthy (Aus). Click for the HKJC chart, PPs and sectional timing.



A 'Beauty'-ful Quinella in the Jockey Club Mile

California Spangle (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) was the piping-hot $1.70 (7-10) favourite when the gates flew back for Sunday's G2 BOCHK Private Wealth Jockey Club Mile, but he called it a day at the 200-meter point, and Beauty Eternal (Aus) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) and Beauty Joy (Aus) (Sebring {Aus}) were left to settle things, with the former just lasting for a Purton race-to-race double.

The defending G1 Longines Hong Kong Mile winner, California Spangle jumped alertly, but was made to work a bit for it early, as Healthy Happy (Aus) (Zoustar {Aus}) kicked up at the fence to prevent him from securing the inside as the sectional times were well inside standard. Last year's BMW Hong Kong Derby winner Voyage Bubble (Aus) (Deep Field {Aus}) went up outside to apply the pressure entering the final half-mile, and Purton had Beauty Eternal in his slipstream, with Beauty Joy last. Eased out to deliver his challenge outside Voyage Bubble at the top of the straight, Beauty Eternal–carrying the Beauty Generation (NZ) colours–looked like he might run away from them, but Derek Leung, who needed to resort to slaps down the neck of Beauty Joy with his hand after his whip went flying, kept after his mount and just missed in a tight photo.

“It's probably the first time he's had to dig deep when something has come at him like that and find and he'll take some confidence out of it,” said Purton, also the regular rider of Beauty Generation.

John Size, who won four on the program including a landmark 1,500th in Hong Kong, said: “They went a decent tempo and he came into the race nicely. He had no horse to run at and he was there to get shot down. To his credit, he was able to kick and win the race. He probably learned a bit more about racing today.”

Sunday, Sha Tin, Hong Kong
BOCHK PRIVATE WEALTH JOCKEY CLUB MILE-G2, HK$5,350,000, Sha Tin, 11-19, 3yo/up, 1600mT, 1:33.04, gd.
1–BEAUTY ETERNAL (AUS), 123, g, 5, by Starspangledbanner (Aus)
1st Dam: Ithacan Queen (NZ), by Savabeel (Aus)
2nd Dam: Bering Island (Ire), by Bering (GB)
3rd Dam: Wiener Wald, by Woodman
(A$90,000 Ylg '20 INGFEB). O-Patrick Kwok Ho Chuen; B-P Raftopoulous (Vic); T-John Size; J-Zac Purton; HK$2,996,000. Lifetime Record: 12-8-1-3, HK$18,157,825. *1/2 to Love Sensation (Aus) (Night of Thunder {Ire}), GSP-Aus, $170,606. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Beauty Joy (Aus), 123, g, 7, Sebring (Aus)–Impressive Jeuney (Aus), by Jeune (GB). O-Eleanor Kwok Law Kwai Chun & Patrick Kwok Ho Chuen; B-Impressive Racing Pty Ltd (WA); T-Derek Leung; J-Tony Cruz; HK$1,123,500.
3–Voyage Bubble (Aus), 123, g, 5, Deep Field (Aus)–Raheights (Aus), by Rahy. (A$380,000 Ylg '20 INGFEB). O-Sunshine and Moonlight Syndicate; B-Torryburn Stud (NSW); T-Ricky Yiu; J-Alexis Badel; HK$615,250.
Margins: SHD, 4HF, NK. Odds: 3-2, 10-1, 9-1.
Also Ran: California Spangle (Ire), Healthy Happy (Aus).
Click for the HKJC chart, PPs and sectional timing.



'Arron' Validates Fownes's Confidence in JC Cup

Trainer Caspar Fownes has long been of the opinion that Straight Arron (Aus) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) was capable of achieving a rating in the vicinity of 120 in Hong Kong, a number that would put him among the top three middle-distance runners locally. His current mark of 106 is set for a significant hike after a visually impressive victory in a slowly run renewal of the G2 BOCHK Jockey Club Cup.

Second-last out of the straight for the first time, Straight Arron raced in the company of champion stayer Russian Emperor (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) at the tail as Money Catcher (NZ) (Ferlax {NZ}) did his thing up front. When Glorious Dragon (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) went for an early run 1300 metres out in an attempt to inject some pace into an otherwise paceless affair, Vincent Ho followed suit aboard Straight Arron to race just behind centerfield into the final half-mile. Pulled out and around Glorious Dragon with 500 metres to travel, Straight Arron came five wide into the straight and motored past soft-trip favourite Sword Point (Aus) (American Pharoah) for a breakthrough Hong Kong success.

A Group 3 winner in Australia for Chris Waller, Straight Arron still has plenty to find with the likes of Romantic Warrior (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}), whom he'll face in the G1 Longines Hong Kong Cup in three weeks' time. At a minimum, Fownes is pleased with the current trajectory.

“This horse is a quality animal and he's just getting to where he should be now,” said Fownes. “That was a good result for us and it gives us a chance to get into the big race, which is always tough against the top stayers in the world.”

Straight Arron is a second pattern winner in Hong Kong and one of 122 such winners worldwide for Fastnet Rock.

Sunday, Sha Tin, Hong Kong
BOCHK JOCKEY CLUB CUP-G2, HK$5,350,000, Sha Tin, 11-19, 3yo/up, 2000mT, 2:01.84 gd.
1–STRAIGHT ARRON (AUS), 123, g, 5, by Fastnet Rock (Aus)
1st Dam: Imperial Lass (NZ) (MSP-Aus), by Tavistock (NZ)
2nd Dam: Tricia Ann (NZ), by Zabeel (NZ)
3rd Dam: My Tricia (NZ), by Hermes (GB)
(A$270,000 Ylg '20 INGEAS). O-Karen Lo Ki Yan; B-Torryburn Stud (NSW); T-Caspar Fownes; J-Vincent Ho; HK$2,996,000. Lifetime Record: GSW-Aus, 16-6-1-1, HK$.12,762,270. Werk Nick Rating: B+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Sword Point (Aus), 123, g, 5, American Pharoah–Jazz Song (Aus), by Fastnet Rock (Aus). (A$750,000 Ylg '20 MMGCYS). O-Li Chi Pong; B-Morning Rise Stud (Vic); T-Frankie Lor; J-Zac Purton; HK$1,123,500.
3–Money Catcher (NZ), 123, g, 6, Ferlax (NZ)–Warren's Sister (NZ), by Savabeel (Aus). (NZ$13,000 Wlg '19 NZBMAY; NZ$60,000 2yo '19 NZBRTR). O-The Sunflower Syndicate; B-Haunui Bloodstock Ltd; T-Frankie Lor; J-Derek Leung; HK$615,250.
Margins: 3/4, NK, NO. Odds: 47-10, 13-10, 33-5.
Also Ran: Nimble Nimbus (NZ), Senor Toba (Aus), La City Blanche (Arg), Five G Patch (Ire), Russian Emperor (Ire), Glorious Dragon (Ire). Click for the HKJC chart, PPs and sectional timing.


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