Lucky Sweynesse chases HK$5 million Speed Series bonus

Declan Schuster

24/04/2023 11:30

Lucky Sweynesse stretches out at Sha Tin this morning (Monday, 24 April).
Lucky Sweynesse stretches out at Sha Tin this morning (Monday, 24 April).

Lucky Sweynesse is aiming to join elite company with victory in Sunday’s (30 April) HK$20 million G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) at Sha Tin on FWD Champions Day.

Triumphant in the first two legs of Hong Kong’s three-race Speed Series, Lucky Sweynesse has swiftly become the city’s premier sprinter and success this weekend under jockey Zac Purton will see him net a HK$5 million bonus in addition to the eye-watering HK$11.4 million winner’s cheque.

“It’d be nice and I’m sure the owners would be happy if it happened,” Purton said.

Only Mr Vitality (1995/96), Grand Delight (2002/03) and Silent Witness (2003/04 & 2004/05) have previously landed the Speed Series bonus, while Lucky Sweynesse’s wins in the G1 Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m) and G1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) have pathed the way for the chance of collecting an almighty HK$16.4 million pay day.

“He’s going well, he ticks over quite nicely – he just does his job in the mornings. It looks like it is a suitable race for him and hopefully he can draw well and more importantly get out of the gates cleanly,” Purton said.

Lucky Sweynesse wins the G2 Sprint Cup (1200m) at Sha Tin.

The 130-rater (in Hong Kong) has won his last four races, including twice at Group 1 level, and is a six-time winner this season from eight attempts, however, he is known at times for a certain tardiness when leaving the barriers. 

“He’s a bit frustrating out of the gates. He got it wrong last time, so he’s due to get it right this time,” Purton said.

The four-year-old – trained by Manfred Man – has officially been entered to run in June’s G1 Yasuda Kinen (1600m) at Tokyo in Japan. He is yet to race beyond 1400m.  

Purton has partnered Lucky Sweynesse in all of his fast work at Sha Tin following victory in the G2 Sprint Cup (1200m) where he held off Hong Kong Champion Sprinter (2021/22) Wellington by a length, while Master Eight filled third.

“It was very good, I was very happy with the way he performed. He meets them at level weights this time, so it’s even more of an advantage for us,” Purton said.

The four-year-old clocked 51.5s (28.5, 23) alongside stablemate Encountered in an 800m turf gallop down the back straight at Sha Tin under Purton this morning.

Hong Kong’s Speed Series was inaugurated in the 1993/94 racing season.

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