Hugh Bowman Hopes To Coax Best From Lucky Sweynesse

Hugh Bowman is optimistic Lucky Sweynesse can atone for a pair of recent Group 1 defeats when the world’s top-rated sprinter contests the HK$5.35 million G2 Sprint Cup (1200m) at Sha Tin on Sunday (7 April).

Bowman will have his first ride on Manfred Man’s charge after the 132-rater finished sixth in the G1 Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m) under Zac Purton on 28 January and fifth in the G1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) under James McDonald on 10 March.

Bowman has galloped Lucky Sweynesse, winner of 15 of 23 starts, and is excited to partner the five-year-old.

“I’ve sat on him a couple of times. We’ve jumped him out down the back straight last week and did a bit of steady pace work this week. He feels good,” the Australian said. “Obviously he needs no introduction, but looking forward to the opportunity.”

With 128lb, Lucky Sweynesse will start from barrier seven, conceding five pounds to 10 rivals – Lucky With You, Howdeepisyourlove, Duke Wai, Flying Ace, Adios, Whizz Kid, Invincible Sage, Packing Treadmill, Nervous Witness and Tomodachi Kokoroe.

Addressing Lucky Sweynesse’s habit of making tardy starts from the gates, Bowman said: “The ideal would be to get out on even terms but, if he is sluggish which he seems to have developed a bit a habit of doing, I think I still have more options from a draw like (barrier) seven than I would if I was in two or three.

“We’ll have to wait and see, I suppose, but it would be beneficial if he wasn’t as far back as he has been in recent starts.”

Sunday’s race shapes as a key test for Lucky Sweynesse who, along with Lucky With You, Howdeepisyourlove, Duke Wai, Flying Ace, Adios, Invincible Sage, Tomodachi Kokoroe and Nervous Witness, is entered for the HK$22 million G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) at Sha Tin on 28 April.

Bowman will ride dual Hong Kong Champion Stayer Russian Emperor in the HK$5.35 million G2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m) this weekend.

Douglas Whyte’s flagbearer has drawn barrier three and, with 128lb, will face Beauty Eternal, Beauty Joy, Sword Point, Nimble Nimbus, Red Lion, Encountered, Healthy Happy, Money Catcher, Taj Dragon, Happy Together, Super Sunny Sing and The Best Peach, who will all carry 123lb.

“I’m looking forward to feeling him (Russian Emperor). In reality, at 1600 metres in this type of race, it’s probably a bit short for him but, it would be nice to get the opportunity to ride him again. I feel like he’s just going along nicely this season and there’s going to be some suitable races for him coming up, so we’ll see where we’re at,” Bowman said.

Alexis Badel has combined with Frankie Lor’s Happy Together for five wins and two minor placings from eight starts this season and hopes the five-year-old can enhance an impressive campaign on Sunday.

“He (Happy Together) is doing pretty well. I can’t fault him, he’s been in great form and hopefully he can carry on this way. “I think he’s a good horse, he’s a quality horse – he’s got a good heart, a fighting spirit,” Badel said.

“I’m very happy to see if he can step up to a better class. He’s a horse with a good turn of foot, he likes to finish, he likes to run late. So, coming back to a shorter trip, I assume I’ll be somewhere midfield. He’s quite versatile.”

Three of Hong Kong’s leading racing figures could reach significant landmarks this weekend, including dual champion trainer Tony Cruz (1,499), four-time champion handler Caspar Fownes (1,098) and six-time champion jockey Zac Purton (1,697).

Sunday’s (7 April) 10-race card at Sha Tin starts with the Class 5 Severn Handicap (1400m) at 12.45pm (AEDT 15:45).

– News from Hong Kong Jockey Club

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