Lucky Sweynesse is chasing an eighth win for the season.Zac Purton concedes Lucky Sweynesse faces a significant challenge at Sha Tin on Sunday when the champion sprinter tackles the Group 3 Sha Tin Vase Handicap (1200m) attempting to match Beauty Generation’s record of eight victories in a season.
Manfred Man’s star will contest his 10th race in a campaign which started with victory on the opening day of the season on 11 September and subsequently blossomed with three Group 1 triumphs – the Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m), the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) and the Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m).
If successful on Sunday, Lucky Sweynesse will match Beauty Generation’s tally of eight wins in the 2018/19 season.
Purton has been aboard in five of Lucky Sweynesse’s victories this term and rates his last-start Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize performance as the finest of the gelding’s stunning season – while also regarding this Sunday’s challenge as his most daunting.
“I think last start was probably his best performance. He was very dominant in that race, he got himself into the right spot and took care of the field pretty comfortably,” Purton said before assessing the $3.9 million Group 3 Sha Tin Vase Handicap, a race he previously won aboard Gallant Lion (2009), Aerovelocity (2014), Winner’s Way (2018), Little Giant (2019) and Thanks Forever (2020).
“Lucky Sweynesse has got to carry a big weight (135lb) and give a lot of weight away to some quite promising horses, so it’s a big ask for him here at the end of a long season but we hope he can do it one more time.
“He’s had a terrific season. He hasn’t done anything wrong. The only time he’s been beaten is when he’s been unlucky. He’s turned up every time and we hope he can do it again.
“It’s not going to be easy, there’s no doubt about that. It’s an interesting race but he’s drawn well (barrier three), there’s a bit of speed so he should get the right run and he’s a big horse – he can carry the weight – it’s just a matter of whether he can give the weight away to the younger horses coming through.”
Lucky Sweynesse has to concede weight to all seven of his rivals – Sight Success (125lb), Courier Wonder (121lb), Cordyceps Six (115lb), Master Eight (115lb), Rewarding Together (115lb), Victor The Winner (115lb) and Ima Single Man (115lb).
Purton, who has twice won on Victor The Winner, believes Danny Shum’s emerging speedster will present a formidable obstacle under Karis Teetan.
“Victor The Winner has run good time in some of his races, he’s drawn the perfect gate (barrier one), Karis is very good on some of these horses who like to lead and use their speed. He’s got good hands, good balance and Victor The Winner gets in with no weight on his back. He’s run very fast time, so he’s going be very hard to catch.”
Hugh Bowman hopes Beauty Joy can land a second Group 3 Lion Rock Trophy Handicap (1600m) despite having to shoulder 135lb – 14lb more than he carried in last season’s victory – after his excellent second to Golden Sixty in the Group 1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin on April 30.
“Beauty Joy has been racing against the supreme horses here in Hong Kong and he finds a race now where it’s probably a fair drop in class for him but he’s carrying top weight and giving a fair bit of weight to some pretty decent opposition,” Bowman said.
“Whether he can overcome the handicap is yet to be seen, but he’s certainly in good form.
“If we can get a nice, consistent flowing tempo, I’m sure you’ll see the best of him. It’s not like he over-races, but he’s got a particularly light mouth and as soon as you put the bit in it, he doesn’t react well so it’s a matter of trying to flow with him and get into a nice rhythm with him and, if we can succeed in doing that, he will be strong late.
“I would prefer it at set weights but we’ll see what we can do.”
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Cody Mo addresses the media with Mr Andrew Harding, Hong Kong Jockey Club Executive Director, Racing.Cody Mo hopes to convert the benefits of a long and comprehensive grounding into immediate success when Hong Kong’s newest trainer formally starts the latest chapter in his career in the 2023/24 season.
Mo, 45, has been granted a trainer’s licence to operate in his own right after starting his career with the Hong Kong Jockey Club as a work rider in 1994. After serving as an assistant trainer with David Hall, David Ferraris, Benno Yung and Tony Cruz since 2008, Mo believes he has the background to succeed – and is grateful for Cruz’s tutelage, in particular.
“I’m very thankful for Tony. Throughout the nine years I worked for him, I had a lot of opportunities to learn about the training of horses, how to ‘prep’ them for the races, how to ‘prep’ those with potential to become Group horses – I really learnt a lot from him,” Mo said.
“I will continue to focus on my work and use the experience I have gained over the years. I’m very thankful to the Club and the Board of Stewards for this opportunity and I will try my best. In my time as an assistant trainer, I followed four different trainers and I learnt so much from them.
“I believe I am prepared to continue my career in another level.”
Mo’s journey has involved working closely with champions including Silent Witness and Bullish Luck, while also travelling overseas to gain experience through track work and stable visits with Aidan O’Brien, Dermot Weld and Johnny Murtagh as well as attending yearling sales in Australia and New Zealand.
He has also successfully completed certificates III and IV in Racing, conducted by the Racing Development Board.
Mr Andrew Harding, Hong Kong Jockey Club Executive Director, Racing said Mo had enjoyed a “long and very successful in Hong Kong racing” and had worked “with undoubtedly one of the best trainers in Tony Cruz as his right-hand man.”
“In developing his expertise, Cody has had the benefit of undertaking the Club’s structured training programmes, which have included time spent overseas observing the training methods of some of the best trainers in the world and he has also had first-hand experience of travelling some Hong Kong horses overseas , Silent Witness and Bullish Luck,” Mr Harding said.
“Cody was identified several years ago as having great potential to become one day a trainer in Hong Kong. He has worked very hard, learnt from the best and the Licensing Committee has made the decision the time is right for him to be given this opportunity.
“Talent development is essential to the long- term success of Hong Kong racing. The horse population will begin to increase again next season and the timing is right to give Cody an opportunity that he has worked so hard to earn. I’m confident that Cody is well positioned to put his team together and prepare for a great start to his career next season.”
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Major Dude was squeezed out of a cozy spot on the rail on the far turn, dropped off the pace, then circled around the leaders for a hard-earned victory in the June 2 Penn Mile Stakes (G2T) for 3-year-olds at Penn National Race Course.View the full article