Lucky Sweynesse (NZ) Soars to Centenary Sprint Cup Triumph
7 February 2023
Eight weeks after a Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) hard-luck story, Lucky Sweynesse (NZ) (Sweynesse) produced a sensational performance at Sha Tin on Sunday to claim a Group One victory befitting his explosive talent.
Lucky Sweynesse scored the fifth win by a Karaka graduate in the HK$12m Group One Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m) since 2016, following in the footsteps of Aerovelocity (NZ) (Pins), D B Pin (NZ) (Darci Brahma) and back-to-back winner Beat The Clock (Hinchinbrook).
Bought for $90,000 from the 2020 Ready to Run Sale, the exciting four-year-old has now had 13 starts for nine wins, three placings and HK$22.29m in stakes – almost 50 times his purchase price.
The exciting sprinter had his first shot at the big time in the Hong Kong Sprint in December, but he was hopelessly blocked in the straight and finished a luckless and completely untested sixth.
Subsequently an impressive winner of the Group Three Chinese Club Challenge Cup (1400m) on New Year’s Day, Lucky Sweynesse was sent out as a hot favourite for Group One redemption on Sunday, and the top-class four-year-old got the job done in impressive style.
“Each winner is special for me, but a Group One winner makes me feel powerful,” trainer Manfred Man said.
“I was full of confidence that he could win. Two runs ago he just had no luck – everyone could see that. This time he drew eight but still won. I think the horse can still improve.”
Lucky Sweynesse was pushed forward from his wide gate by jockey Zac Purton, moving across the front of the field to sit outside the front-running Sight Success (Magnus). It remained to be seen how much petrol he had used up with that early burst, and especially with multiple Group One-winning superstar Wellington (All Too Hard) breathing down his neck and following in his slipstream every step of the way.
But by the time they reached the business end of the race, no one could match Lucky Sweynesse. He went into overdrive, sprinting past Sight Success and pulling clear for a decisive and emphatic win.
“There was nothing I could do in the Hong Kong Sprint – we drew the wrong gate and just got locked away – but I was just disappointed for Manfred,” Purton said. “It was his big chance, and it didn’t sit well with me not being able to deliver for him. But hopefully today has gone some way towards repaying him.
“It was pretty painless today. As soon as he begun as well as he did and I was able to get outside the leader, I was fairly confident from there. He still had to turn up and do it, and Sight Success gave him a good race – he gave a good kick, so I had to work to get past him and hold them off. He did a terrific job.”
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).
|J & I Bloodstock (Waikato)
|Sweynesse – Madonna Mia
|Lot 284, 2020 Ready to Run Sale, $90,000
|P L Dombroski, Explosive Breeding Ltd & S A Sharrock