Trainer Caspar Fownes is delighted with the way champion Hong Kong Sprinter Lucky Nine has settled in Australia and believes the six-year-old is well and truly on track for the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 25.
Lucky Nine arrived at the International Equine Centre at Werribee last Tuesday and Fownes told TVN that the five-time Group 1 winner has handled his new environment beautifully.
“He’s going really well, he’s settled in beautifully and he’s still holding his coat nicely, which is important, and he’s eating well,” Fownes said.
“He ticks all the boxes that way.”
Lucky Nine did his first piece of proper work since arriving at Werribee this morning, galloping over 800 meters with Melbourne Cup winning jockey Brett Prebble in the saddle, and both trainer and jockey were happy with the effort.
“He’s still got a way to go before his race, but he’s more top heavy, he’s like a sprinter now,” Prebble said.
“He’s really puffed up; you can feel him underneath you.
“It’s a good feeling.”
Lucky Nine has not been seen at the races since he recorded an impressive three lengths victory over Bel Sprinter in the Group 1 International Sprint (1200m) in Singapore in May but Fownes believes that son of Dubawi is better in himself than he was earlier in the year and has not suffered any health problems since he was found with blood in his trachea after he finished seventh in the Group 2 The Sprint Cup (1200m) at Sha Tin in April.
“He’s been a pretty bad bleeder, but we still have managed to get some pretty good results out of him,” Fownes said.
“The last five gallops and trial and scopes he’s been completely clean.
“Fingers crossed, this campaign he’s been beautiful.
“If we can keep going the way we’ve been going there has to be a lot more improvement in him.”
Lucky Nine has just under a month before his makes his Australian debut in the Manikato Stakes and will then have a fortnights break into the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 9.