Lucky Bubbles being set for elusive Group one onslaught

Lucky Bubbles
Lucky Bubbles has yet to win a Group one, but that could all change in the coming months for the talented five-year-old

LUCKY Bubbles is one of the best horses in Hong Kong to have not won at Group one level, but the five-year-old is being set for a major race onslaught this season.

The Francis Lui-trained sprinter will line up in Monday’s Centenary Sprint Cup, which is now a Group two after holding Group one status previously, but Lui believes it will be a good starting point towards the major races later this season.

“He was really good in his trial last week and I’m very happy with how he is going,” Lui said.

“He has not raced for a while but he’s holding his condition and he seems to be thriving. He is right where I want him to be now.

“Now, just to get a big race win, he’s been so close before!”

Lucky Bubbles has contested two Group one races, finishing a narrow second in both. The son of Sebring finished second behind Australian sprinter Chautauqua in the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize and second behind Aerovelocity in December’s Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint.

Lui is confident that Lucky Bubbles ($2.50 at can turn the tables on Aerovelocity in Monday’s Sprint Cup at Sha Tin.

“He looks good for this race,” Lui said. “If he runs to his best, he should be winning, and Brett (Prebble) thinks he is near his best. But they are always tough races to win.

“If he doesn’t win, hopefully he can come back later in the season and win again.”

Lui has targeted all three legs of the Hong Kong Speed Series for Lucky Bubbles, which includes the Chairman’s Sprint Prize, before potentially heading overseas to either Dubai or Japan.

“He’ll go through all three legs of the (Hong Kong Speed Series),” Lui said. “So he’ll go to the 1400m Group 1 (Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup) in late February and then try to win the 1200m Group one in May that he came so close in last year (the Chairman’s Sprint Prize).

“The 1400m is a little unknown, he ran well over that distance but didn’t win last season, but it’s worth a try now he is older.

“He is entered for Dubai but I’d have to see how he is after the 1400m. It could be a little too much. Japan that same weekend (for the Group 1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen at Chukyo), no, because the race is anti-clockwise.

“If he travels, the most likely race for him is the Sprinters Stakes (Japan) in October – that’s the most suitable, I think.”

The Group 2 Centenary Sprint Cup includes the likes of Peniaphobia, Amazing Kids, Blizzard, Dundonell and former Australian sprinter Not Listenin’tome.

Monday’s card also features the Group 1 Hong Kong Stewards’ Cup where Able Friend and Beauty Only are the favoured runners.

2017 Centenary Sprint Cup market

Lucky Bubbles – $2.50
Aerovelocity – $3
Amazing Kids – $6
Blizzard – $7.50
Peniaphobia – $8
Not Listenin’tome – $11
Strathmore – $51
Merion – $67
Dundonell – $67

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