A decision to forego the final two legs of the four-year-old series with Lucky Bubbles was vindicated when the chestnut announced himself as a contender for the end-of-season sprint features with a dominant Class One win yesterday.
Lucky Bubbles was fourth in the Classic Mile, but connections chose not to push on to the 1,800m of the Classic Cup, despite the son of Sebring boasting a triple-figure rating that would have easily qualified the horse for that race or for yesterday’s Derby.
Many a top-line sprinter has been thrown into a Derby for the sake of face, but instead Lucky Bubbles was showing off his sprinting ability with a sensational two and a half length win after an unlucky last-start second to Amazing Kids.
“It was obviously the decision,” Lui said. “We tried him at a mile, and he didn’t really stay – now we can look at some Group races for him.”
The programme falls well for a horse whose rating will now sit close to 110, with the Group Two Sprint Cup in two weeks, and if Lui’s exciting prospect aims up there, the Group One Chairman’s Sprint Prize a month later.
Jockey Brett Prebble has now been aboard for all four of the gelding’s wins and while not doubting the horse’s credentials for Group races, the experienced Australian jockey claims whatever Lucky Bubbles can accomplish this season will be bettered next term.
“He is an exciting horse, but not fully furnished yet,” Prebble said. “He is still a bit delicate physically and what he is showing at the moment is all just natural ability. He has all the attributes of a good horse, he is a gentleman to ride, but still, when he does fully develop, he will put his hand up as the real deal.”
Lucky Bubbles was sent out a dominant 1.6 favourite despite drawing barrier nine and carrying the same weight as Strathmore, a decent benchmark as a two-time winner this season.
“It could have been an awkward draw if there had been no pace in the race but obviously there was,” said Prebble, who pushed forward and found a close one-off spot on settling.
“It was good he was able to do that but I’m not ruling out riding the horse quieter than I did today, because he has a really good turn of foot. Putting him up on the speed and chasing that pace, it doesn’t take away his acceleration entirely, it just dulls it. If I could get a suck run longer, and hold on to him that bit longer, he would really let go with an instant turn of foot.”
Visiting Sydney jockey Blake Shinn earned a suspension for careless riding in the late stages on Frederick Engels, his ban to begin after the Rosehill meeting on Saturday, but allowing him to return in time for the Doncaster Mile meeting on April 2.