Get Lucky in the last
Lucky Six appears to have this afternoon's final event at his mercy on a competitive Ladies' Purse card at Sha Tin.
The Peter Ho-trained improver is, in reality, a winner without a penalty as he must have lost at least two lengths when boxed in on the far rail in the quality 1,400-metre event which saw Meridian Star force a dead-heat with Chutzpah.
Lucky Six was only beaten a short-head and same into fourth and this despite champion jockey Robbie Fradd having to endure one of those nightmare moments in a race. Lucky Six was full of running as they came up the home straight and eager to burst through the pack, take the lead and go clear.
He would have done so had he seen any racing room at all around the 200-metre mark. But Fradd had to sit and suffer and suffer and suffer again. Eventually he managed to pull his mount out and back and around them. In the circumstances it was a top run from Lucky Six to finish as agonisingly close as he did, but it was all to no avail bar the prize money for fourth.
The handicapping department have raised him three pounds for running fourth and you can't blame them for that as this did look a smart contest.
Really, though, Lucky Six, with a clear run, would have run out the winner by a length or so, if not more, and be coming in here off an eight- or nine-pound higher rating.
So he looks attractively rated and there are grounds for thinking that he is going to progress further. For one, he's only a three-year-old and open to lots of natural physical progression. Second, he hasn't raced that much and is still learning about the caper. And third, he has continued to work in a most attractive, fluent fashion since that luckless fourth. He went particularly sweetly in his main lead up work to today's contest and is a very confident selection.
He's likely to be favourite. Make no mistake about that. But he deserves to be and can be taken as a very confident banker in the quinella and tierce pools. He should also have no trouble confirming the form with Exultation, who finished just behind him last time and is only a pound better off. Exultation didn't have such a difficult run and with normal luck for the pair of them, it is Lucky Six who should come out on top.
Exultation, himself a young, improver, remains one of the main quinella hopes.
The value quinella could be with the Tony Cruz-trained Eastern Magnate, who has raced well fresh before and seems to have been working along as if a bold showing can be expected.
The best bet may be in the last race but the next best bet is in the opener in the shape of Money Star.
The Brian Kan-trained four-year-old has never raced better. He was a fair way out of the handicap and racing over a trip short of his best when a highly creditable second to Rory's Bid in a 1,200-metre 0-36 contest last time. Now he's in the handicap, up to a more suitable 1,600 metres and racing against only 0-24 rated opposition. He'd also run a cracker three starts back when an unlucky-in-running third to Chuk Way over 1,400 metres at Sha Tin in an event which has, overall, worked out well.