Lucky Nine shines in trial, but vet will have ultimate say
Caspar Fownes will await the results of an endoscopic examination to determine whether Lucky Nine will line up in the BMW Champions Mile next Monday after Brett Prebble gave the horse a solid blow-out to win the opening heat of yesterday's barrier trials at Sha Tin.
Lucky Nine has also been tentatively entered for the Group Two Sprint Cup on May 1, but Fownes said he would prefer to give his highly rated charge a chance in the international event if the tests come back clear.
'Lucky Nine has been experiencing some internal problems, so I wanted Brett to give him a good sound out in the trial so we can make sure he has fully recovered,' Fownes said.
'He's had a good break now since the Queen's Silver Jubilee, and hasn't been pushed in his work, so I'm expecting everything should be fine for Monday, but I want to be certain, so we'll wait and see how he scopes.'
Lucky Nine won his 1,000m heat by 13/4 lengths from Hong Kong Derby winner and QE II Cup aspirant Ambitious Dragon in a time of 59.61 seconds.
Ambitious Dragon travelled superbly under new jockey Douglas Whyte, and the four-year-old has seemingly taken no backward step since his crushing Derby victory.
Other high-profile triallers included the Tony Cruz-trained California Memory, who closed off nicely in his 1,050m heat on the all-weather track to finish fourth behind the Caspar Fownes-trained Ride On The Fire.