VRC Sprint Classic favourite Lucky Nine has been cleared to start at Flemington tomorrow after passing a veterinary test today.
Racing Victoria veterinary surgeon’s inspected a small cut on the near hind leg of the champion Hong Kong sprinter and gave him the all clear to take his place in the Group 1 $1m weight-for-age Sprint over 1200m.
“Veterinary: Lucky Nine (Flem R6 No 1). Small nick to near hind fetlock inspected by vet today. Horse passed fit to race tomorrow,” Racing Victoria Stewards tweeted
Lucky Nine was Hong Kong trainer Casper Fownes’ first Australian starter when a nose second to Buffering in the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 and the pair are set to clash again at Flemington on Saturday.
Hong Kong’s number one sprinter is set to collect $1.2 million if he can turn the tables on Buffering and take out the $1m sprint.
As well as the $600,000 first prizemoney cheque, Lucky Nine is also eligible to earn a $600,000 bonus that the Victoria Racing Club has offered to the winner of the VRC Sprint if he had already won a race in the Global Sprint Challenge Series.
Lucky Nine won the Group 1 S$1m Krisflyer International Sprint (1200m) at Singapore in May, a GSC race, and if he wins the VRC Sprint will be eligible for the US$1m bonus on offer if he can win the last race of the series, the Group 1 HK$15m Longines Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at his home track at Sha Tin on December 8.
“With the money that is involved we had to take the punt of bringing him,” Fownes told the Sportsman.
“I’ve always wanted to bring a horse to Australia and it has been an exciting trip.”
The first four across the line in the Manikato Stakes, Buffering, Lucky Nine, Sessions and Moment Of Change, are all lining up in the VRC Sprint Classic and it is certain to be a blanket finish again.
Lucky Nine has been posted the $3.80 favourite with Buffering at $7.50 followed by Platelet, Rebel Dane and the Peter Moody trained Moment Of Change all on the $10 mark while Sessions, one of three runners for trainer Peter Snowden, is at the good odds of $17.