Lucky Bubbles faces a tough assignment in Sunday’s (30 September) G1 Sprinters Stakes (1200m) at Nakayama, but the gelding’s connections are holding fast to sporting hope amidst a cluster of known and possible complications.
An unfavourable wide draw in gate 14, as well as the threat of soft going as Super Typhoon Trami’s rain bands head this way, have given trainer Francis Lui and jockey Brett Prebble plenty to consider. And then there is the hanging uncertainty of whether the admirable galloper still has within him the kind of spark that sealed a well-deserved G1 triumph in the 2017 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) – his most recent form says perhaps, or perhaps not, depending on one’s view.
“I’m a little bit worried about his draw – I talked about it with Brett and he’s a bit concerned too. It’s going to be difficult,” Lui said at trackside this morning (Saturday, 29 September).
Only one horse since 1990 has won the Sprinters Stakes from gate 14, although it is worth noting that four have won from right next door in barrier 13 – one of those being Hong Kong’s greatest, Silent Witness.
“It’s a very competitive race; there are a couple of fast horses and some good ones that will come from behind. A lot will depend on how he breaks, where he can find a position and how he travels,” Lui continued.
“I’m hoping for a fast pace; he needs to find a sit in a good position, behind midfield – not caught wide. Hopefully he’ll relax and be able to follow the fast horses.”