Francis Lui Kin-wai may be cooling his heels with stable star Lucky Bubbles but it was far less heralded horseflesh that kicked the trainer’s season into gear with a treble on Saturday.
Lui’s winners Marvel Tribe, Diamond Mysterious and Mordicus had won a combined five from 69 between them before the stable’s banner day, so it was no surprise the gathered press were more interested in an update on when the trainer’s highest-rated horse would return.
Lui confirmed his Group One winner Lucky Bubbles would skip the upcoming Group Three National Day Cup in favour of a return in the Group Two Premier Bowl on October 22.
“It wasn’t a very hard decision to make, he would have had top weight on October 1 and be running up a straight, which doesn’t really suit him,” he said.
Lui also confirmed Zac Purton would ride Lucky Bubbles first-up and in a trial this Tuesday along with a host of other superstars.
Although it is all about mapping out a plan for Lucky Bubbles, for each of Lui’s winners it seemed like a case of job done, with anything else a bonus.
Mordicus (Purton) opened the day with the type of commanding three-length victory some had expected early last season.
The son of Fastnet Rock was sent out at short odds on a number of occasions but failed badly as a number of issues surfaced.
“He has had some bleeding problems, leg problems, including a suspensory injury,” Lui said, understandably issuing some caution to punters looking to follow the six-year-old next start.
“I don’t know,” he said on the future. “I think it’s great he got the win today.”
When Joao Moreira walked into the parade ring and told Lui he would be closer on Diamond Mysterious, whose best runs have come from the rear of the field, the trainer certainly didn’t think the lively Brazilian would have his six-year-old box-seating.
“The horse usually races from behind, but actually he just said he would try and be midfield, so I was surprised to see where Joao was,” he said.
Marvel Tribe (Keith Yeung Ming-lun) had run a gutsy first-up third on opening day at big odds and backed that up two weeks later with an on-pace win from a better draw.
“He has had 35 starts and is now up in Class Two,” Lui said. “I would love to say he can win but it might be more difficult in that grade. I hope he can still perform, but he is seven, nearly eight – it’s hard to say he will improve.”