Hong Kong flyer Lucky Nine will jet into Melbourne this spring to chase glory and riches in some of Australia’s biggest sprints.
The six-year-old will have dual-purpose mission, with trainer Caspar Fownes confirming he will contest both the Group 1 Manikato Stakes on October 26 and the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic on November 9.
The hit-and-run assault will allow the multiple Group 1 winner to return home for December’s Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint.
The news, which was confirmed in today’s South China Morning Post, sets up an exciting series of match-ups with Victorian speedster Bel Sprinter.
Bel Sprinter bolted home for second behind Lucky Nine in the KrisFlyer International Sprint in Singapore last month and trainer Jason Warren immediately began planning for a rematch.
Warren has signalled his intentions to take the Group 1 winner to Hong Kong in December but he is also likely to contest the big spring sprints on home soil.
Fownes said he has always wanted to bring Lucky Nine to Australia but the timing hasn’t been right. Now, with five Group 1s to his name and a record standing at 12 wins from 30 starts, the Hong Kong trainer is keen to test his speedster against the best Australia has to offer.
“I’ve wanted to go there for a few years now, but it comes at the wrong time for us because we look forward to our international races,” Fownes said.
“But he’s already won one of them, so we can play around with him there.”
The son of Dubawi has raced in Ireland, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore, proving to Fownes he has the right temperament to handle a trip to Australia.
“He is in great form, you can be confident to travel with him,” he said.
“You’re not going to get any egg on your face. He doesn’t know how to run a bad race, the only time he ever runs a bad race is when there is a problem with him.”