Lucky Baby proves he has what it takes

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 April, 2006, 12:00am

First-time starter Lucky Baby emerged from yesterday's Sha Tin meeting with the distinction of being better-known than his sire after victory at his racetrack debut.

Trainer Danny Shum Chap-shing had the son of Rocket To Mars recommended to him off a trial effort at Brisbane's Eagle Farm last September but it wasn't easy to convince anyone else.

'He won a trial by 10 lengths and when I saw the tape I knew he would be winning his races in Hong Kong,' Shum said in the aftermath of yesterday's successful debut. 'But people looked at his sire and they knew nothing about him.'

For the record, Rocket To Mars is a son of Marscay, out of a half-sister to Rory's Jester, so he had a stallion's pedigree.

He was considered good enough as a two-year-old in Sydney for leading trainer Clarrie Conners to throw him in at the deep end against the very best juveniles in his first two starts, including the eventual Golden Slipper winner of his year, Guineas.

Unsuccessful in those two outings, Rocket To Mars was dropped back to weaker company as an early three-year-old but was eventually retired to stud after only five starts for one Sydney win.

Knowing what he had to work with from having seen the Brisbane barrier trial, Shum targeted yesterday's debut race with Lucky Baby (Shane Dye) in two handy-rather-than-outstanding barrier trials.

'His trials here were quite OK, but he really came on a lot after the second one,' Shum said after the youngster justified favouritism in beating another debutant, Michael Chang Chun-wai-trained Always Giggle.

'He's a nice young horse suited by the 1,000m,' said Dye.

'The Riverside gallop on Thursday was the first time I've really asked him for a full effort and he worked very well with Jolly Good Fortune, who is a Class Two horse, so he looked suited in this race.'