Lucky Sweynesse (NZ) Makes Amends in Challenge Cup

2 January 2023

Emerging Hong Kong sprinting star Lucky Sweynesse (NZ) (Sweynesse) put a piece of Group One misfortune behind him with an authoritative victory in Sunday’s HK$3.9m Group Three Chinese Club Challenge Cup (1400m) at Sha Tin.

Bought for $90,000 from the 2020 Ready to Run Sale at Karaka, Lucky Sweynesse has shone brightly in Hong Kong with eight wins and three placings from 12 starts to date. He was Hong Kong’s Champion Griffin in 2021-22, and his earnings of HK$15.45m (NZ$3.15m) are now 35 times his purchase price.

Lucky Sweynesse win G3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup (1400m)

Lucky Sweynesse had announced his arrival among the top echelon of Hong Kong sprinters with an impressive win in the Group Two Jockey Club Sprint (1200m) in late November, making him one of the favourites for last month’s Group One Hong Kong Sprint (1200m). But he never saw daylight in that coveted HK$24m showpiece, finishing a luckless sixth.

It was a different story on Sunday, with rider Zac Purton keeping him out of trouble just outside the leader until the home turn. It was the Lucky Sweynesse show from that point on, as the exciting four-year-old cruised to the lead and took control of the race with ease. He crossed the finish line a length and a quarter in front of Healthy Happy (Zoustar), stopping the clock at 1:21.43 for 1400 metres.

“His last run, he didn’t get the chance to race,” trainer Manfred Man said. “He just keeps improving, and how good is he? I can’t give you the answer at the moment, because he still has the chance to improve.

“With his rating (119), he has many options, but we will go for the Centenary Sprint Cup (Group One, 1200m) in February.”

Sunday’s win also made a favourable impression on Purton.

“It was pretty painless,” the champion jockey said. “It always looked like it would be that way pre-race. He was sluggish from the gates and took about 50 metres to get into his stride, but once he did, he was just in a lovely spot. The rhythm of the race suited him. I just looked after him and with the weight, it was a nice effort.”

Lucky Sweynesse is by Novara Park stallion Sweynesse out of the well-performed racemare Madonna Mia (NZ) (Red Clubs), who won nine races including the Listed Wanganui Cup (2040m). Madonna Mia is the dam of two foals, both of them stakes performers – Lucky Sweynesse’s older full-sister Signora Nera (NZ) (Sweynesse) is a three-time stakes placegetter including in the Group One Queensland Oaks (2200m).

Vendor Woburn Farm
Purchaser J & I Bloodstock (Waikato)
Breeding Sweynesse – Madonna Mia
Sale Lot 284, 2020 Ready to Run Sale, $90,000
Bred by P L Dombroski, Explosive Breeding Ltd & S A Sharrock