Even as discussions go on about a possible early Group One tilt in Japan next season for stable star Lucky Bubbles, trainer Francis Lui Kin-wai felt the horse who is potentially his next headline galloper was coming along just fine.
Connections of Lucky Bubbles are weighing up the merits of a run at the Sprinters Stakes in Tokyo in early October. As the winner of the Chairman’s Sprint Prize in May – a leg of the Global Sprint Challenge (GSC) – Lucky Bubbles could be eligible for a US$1 million bonus in the Longines Hong Kong Sprint in December on home soil if he can land another GSC leg somewhere and the most obvious target would be Japan.
“I’m not sure what will happen. The owners are thinking about it but at the moment it is undecided,” said Lui, after watching his up and coming four-year-old Jumbo Luck (Joao Moreira) decimate a Class Three to take his record to three wins from five attempts.
After winning his November debut, Jumbo Luck didn’t race again for four months and he has had his last two starts off gaps of six weeks and four weeks and Lui said physical issues had held him back.
“He has had some internal bleeding before, which is why he has only raced five times and I have been keeping his races apart,” he explained.
“As he gets older and stronger, that seems to be getting under control. Maybe he is growing out of it and he should be even better next season. I don’t know whether he can become a Class One horse but I’m hopeful that he can go quite a bit higher in the ratings.”
Moreira said he hadn’t planned to lead but Jumbo Luck took himself to the front and was comfortable so he didn’t get in his way.
“It seems like has improved so much. He jumped well and the way the race was running I just let him be in front and he quickened really well – there is plenty more to come,” Moreira said then backed up 30 minutes later with Danny Shum Chap-shing-trained Seasons Bloom to score a double.
Shum has the option to run Seasons Bloom again in the Group Three on the final day of the season over 1,600m but will give him a break instead with the Hong Kong Mile in mind.
“I’m happy to hear that because this horse has already done a great job this season and I really think he is a chance in the international races for December,” Moreira said.
“The way he won today, in Class Two with the top weight, all says he has so much class. He finished the race off so well to win easily and without me asking for everything from him.
“He was a little further back today than I wanted but I didn’t want him out of his rhythm so I let him be wherever he landed and just let him be. I like the way he quickens, even on this soft ground. He’s a nice horse.”