Leading Hong Kong sprinter Lucky Nine won a jump out at Moonee Valley this morning as he continues to build towards his Australian racing debut in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes(1200m) at Moonee Valley next Friday night.
Lucky Nine had too much quality for Crackerjack King, Ashiq and Selectify, recording a comfortable win after sitting three wide coming around the tight-turning Moonee Valley circuit.
Jockey Brett Prebble, who has partnered Lucky Nine to Group 1 victory on five occasions, told Racing Victoria that he was happy with the performance and said it was quiet clear that the Dubawi gelding needed the run.
“It was worth the effort to bring him here and get it all done,” Prebble said.
“It took him out of his routine a bit, he gets a bit tight and a bit agitated, so once he went into the barriers he jumped fast.
“He had a nice blow; the ground is probably between dead to slow so it was testing ground for him.
“He had a good look up the straight, he wouldn’t carry on his own and come out, so it is good to get him familiarised and have a good look around here.
“He definitely needed that.
“He is having a good blow now so he will come on from that.”
Trainer Caspar Fownes admitted that Lucky Nine has never been an overly impressive worker but said he is confident that the six-year-old will take plenty of benefit out of the jump out.
“He has never been a flash worker in the mornings, he always leaves it for race day, and I think the next few days he will come on from this gallop,” Fownes said.
“The track was in great condition and I appreciate us having the opportunity to work on it today.
“He is going to need a bit more work next week just to top him off and get him as fit as I can get him first-up but he will always be better for a second run as he has had six months off.”
Lucky Nine has not been seen at the races since he recorded an impressive victory in the Group 1 Krisflyer International Sprint (1200m), beating Bel Sprinter by three lengths, in May and although Fownes admits that the five-time Group 1 winner will not go into the Manikato Stakes at peak fitness he still expects his star galloper to be tough to beat.
“He is a very good horse on his day and right now he is ranked right up there with the best sprinters in the world,” Fownes said.
“If he is 85% to 90% percent he is going to make his presence felt.”