It’s not too often that a horse has jumped 21 pounds in the ratings after his first two Hong Kong starts but that’s exactly the position Lucky Sweynesse finds himself in after wowing the handicapper in his first couple of runs.
Manfred Man Ka-Leung’s three-year-old started his career off a mark of 52 and, after two impressive wins, finds himself on a rating of 73 as he contests the Class Three Sheung Hei Handicap (1,200m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
Lucky Sweynesse has had the assistance of championship-chasing rivals Zac Purton and Joao Moreira in his two wins and has shown differing running styles in each of his races.
Sent off at $4.7 on his debut, the New Zealand-bred son of Sweynesse showed his inexperience under Purton when missing a beat at the start but found a good position just behind the front-runners in the early part of the race.
Purton was forced to wait for a gap turning into the straight but when one appeared Lucky Sweynesse’s response was instant and he shot through to sprint clear of his rivals and win by an easy two and a half lengths.
The form out of that race also worked out well with third-placed Kokushi Musou and fourth home Mercurial both winning on their next start.
Given the style of that debut success, it may have been something of a surprise that Lucky Sweynesse was sent off as big as $2.1 to follow up that win on his second start over this course and distance at Happy Valley.
Raised nine pounds in the handicap for that opening victory, the promising sprinter was straight into Class Three company for his second start and, if anything, was even more impressive than on his first racecourse appearance.
This time under Moreira, Man’s potential star showed he had learned from previous experience when breaking far quicker from stall five than he had from stall four on his previous run and was quickly at the head of the field.
From there it was plain sailing and he never saw another galloper as he blitzed his rivals to win by an eased-down two lengths.
That form again looks solid with runner-up Toronado Phantom having won his previous start and that runner could prove Lucky Sweynesse’s most difficult opponent once more on Wednesday night.
Stunning debut winner Lucky Sweynesse attempts to confirm promise at Happy Valley
Tony Millard’s Meridian Genius has also been in good form, winning for the second time this season on his last start, but it would still be a huge surprise were Lucky Sweynesse not to complete his hat-trick.
Lucky Sweynesse is not the only runner on the card at Happy Valley on Wednesday night to be chasing a hat-trick as the John Size-trained Zone D is seeking the same achievement in the Class Three Sam Chuk Handicap (1,650m).
A confirmed hold-up horse, the five-year-old now races off a career-high mark of 75 after two straight wins and his runs are often characterised by his strong finishing burst.
Size’s runner came from eighth turning into the straight to salute by a short-head last time and he may need all of that acceleration if he is to beat Packing Award and follow up that success.
Peter Ho Leung’s four-year-old was suited by the step up to this trip when winning by a neck last time and looks capable of continuing a rise up the ranks.