Caspar Fownes will continue to monitor Lucky Nine's condition but is likely to push ahead with an international day preparation with the gelding after a provisional all-clear on arrival in Hong Kong on Tuesday morning.

Lucky Nine was found to be sore in his off-hind quarter the day after an uncharacteristic sixth in last Saturday's Group One VRC Sprint Classic at Flemington, but his trainer has been buoyed by the six-year-old's improved condition.

After arriving at Sha Tin's quarantine barn at 2.30am, Lucky Nine was later given a thorough inspection by Hong Kong Jockey Club vet Felim Mac Eion and he found no signs of any soreness.

"We had Felim look right over him this morning and everything looks good," Fownes said. "I spent an hour with the horse after the races and initially everything looked fine, I was happy with him, but the next day when the vet looked at him he was quite tight and very sore behind. He gave him an anti-inflammatory, and now my vet here can't find anything wrong with him so I'm happy."

Fownes was still at a loss to explain the poor performance but would press ahead to the Group One Hong Kong Sprint on December 8, starting with light work while in the quarantine section for the next two weeks.

"We will start cantering in the next few days and see how he is, and if we are happy with him we will go forward to the race in December," Fownes said. "I'm preparing him as I normally would, at this stage. I'm happy."

 

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