Trainer Manfred Man hopes star sprinter Lucky Sweynesse can recapture his winning thread in Sunday’s HK$5.35 million Group 2 Premier Bowl Handicap (1200m) at Sha Tin.
The reigning champion sprinter’s six-race unbeaten streak was halted first-up by the runaway Victor The Winner. Carrying 20lb more than his winning rival, Lucky Sweynesse could only manage second position on yielding ground at Sha Tin last month.
“Happy – at this moment his form is good, he’s fine. His last run showed that he still wasn’t fit enough, and he carried 135 pounds,” Man said.
The earner of HK$51.88 million, Lucky Sweynesse once again faces a hard task as the race’s top-weight (135lb) contender – a disadvantage that comes with being the sprint division’s standout performer.
“The winner (Victor The Winner) controlled the pace, we sat behind him and it was difficult to catch him over the final stages – the winner clocked 21.40s in the finish.
“Lucky Sweynesse carried 135 pounds, not 115, so it made a big difference. He’ll carry 135 again this weekend, but the winner will carry a different weight,” Man said.
Lucky Sweynesse closed last season with seven Group race victories, including three at the top-level. He resumed this campaign in the Class 1 HKSAR Chief Executive’s Cup Handicap (1200m) at the season’s opening fixture in September.
Sight Success, Duke Wai, Stoltz and Adios also hold entries in this weekend’s Premier Bowl, as does Victor The Winner, who has been assigned 118lb with a rating of 114.
Lucky Sweynesse matched Beauty Generation’s record eight wins in a single-season through 2022/23. His triumphs in the 2023 Group 1 Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m), 2023 Group 1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) and 2023 Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) saw him become the fourth horse in history to win all three legs of Hong Kong’s Speed Series and return a HK$5 million bonus to connections.
Only Mr Vitality (1995/96), Grand Delight (2002/03) and Silent Witness (2003/04 & 2004/05) have previously landed the Speed Series bonus.
“It will be the same as last season, all the targets – same targets again, November, December,” Man said.
Following Sunday, Lucky Sweynesse will chase a second straight win in the HK$5.35 million Group 2 BOCHK Private Banking Jockey Club Sprint (1200m) before another shot at the HK$26 million Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) on December 10.