Lucky Sweynesse bounces back to form with Jockey Club Sprint win
After two successive defeats, Lucky Sweynesse (Sweynesse) produced a fighting finish to narrowly down Victor The Winner (Toronado) to claim successive victories in the Jockey Club Sprint (Gr 2, 1200m) at Sha Tin yesterday with the champion sprinter’s aim now to land his first Hong Kong Sprint (Gr 1, 1200m) at Sha Tin on December 10.
It was Zac Purton’s tenth win on the gelding, who became the first horse since Hot King Prawn (Denman) in 2018 and 2020 to win yesterday’s race twice.
“He got the job done,” Purton said.
“He’s sort of getting back to his best. He’s not quite there yet but he took another step in the right direction today and he’s going to need to be better next time.”
In what was billed as a dress rehearsal for next month’s Hong Kong Sprint with every horse in yesterday’s race all entered, Lucky Sweynesse went into the race after twice finishing second since resuming from a spell.
Many saw it as a race between Lucky Sweynesse and Wellington (All Too Hard), who was having his first run since finishing his last campaign when tenth of 16 at Royal Ascot in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes (Gr 1, 6f) in June.
Victor The Winner, who downed Lucky Sweynesse by two and a half lengths in September, again threatened to topple Hong Kong’s sprint king.
Lucky Sweynesse was wide going forward after the jump and settled fourth, while Wellington jumped well but was happy to let Victor The Winner make the running in front.
Victor The Winner kept rolling along in front and 600 metres from home was waiting for the challengers to arrive. Lucky Sweynesse started his charge home three wide, with Sight Success (Magnus) chasing Victor The Winner in second.
Wellington started to peg the leader back and Lucky Sweynesse lunged late to snatch a gutsy victory from Victor The Winner. Wellington was third, beaten a length at the line.
After carrying 135lb in his first two races this campaign, Lucky Sweynesse was much better off with the set weights and penalties scale in yesterday’s race with 128lb.
Victor The Winner’s jockey Karis Teetan rode a bold race and made the heavily-supported Lucky Sweynesse earn his win, scoring by just a neck in 1m 08.42s.