Lucky Nine's ready to fly

KrisFlyer International's defending champion Lucky Nine takes a light workout on the polytrack of Kranji.
KrisFlyer International's defending champion Lucky Nine takes a light workout on the polytrack of Kranji.


Since its Global Sprint Challenge inclusion in 2011, the KrisFlyer International Sprint at Kranji in Singapore has more than held its own as a race of substance and intrigue.

Sunday's ninth running of the $S1 million ($853,000) drag race over 1200 metres, sees Hong Kong's Lucky Nine drawn to continue his rich vein of form.

The Caspar Fownes-prepared gelding, often out of luck at big race barrier draws, lived up to his name on this occasion and will line up in gate two.

Last year, he strolled to a comfortable win over Jason Warren's luckless Bel Sprinter.

At his best when able to take a trail just off the speed, Lucky Nine will have the benefit of Brett Prebble's expert skills.

Prebble is one of five Australian jockeys seeking glory in the KrisFlyer.

Singapore-based Danny Beasley takes over on El Padrino, Damien Oliver will be legged upon Medicean Man (fourth in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai), Hong Kong's No 1 jockey Zac Purton takes over from Lisa Allpress on Emperor Max, while John Powell will be reunited with Slew Of Lode for Patrick Shaw.

In a field of just 10, Lucky Nine will start a short-priced favourite and only bad luck will see the hero of Hong Kong's equine elite beaten.

Preparing for the Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m), Hong Kong's four contenders went through routine work during exercise at Kranji on Thursday in style. Military Attack and Dan Excel seem to be on the right track as they aim to repeat the success enjoyed in last year's Group 1 SAI Cup, when the pair quinellaed the race.

Trainer John Moore oversaw Military Attack take light exercise alone and he did little more than shuffle for two laps around the polytrack.

Dan Excel and Sterling City stepped on to the polytrack together, after Military Attack had headed back to his box, and that pair emulated their stablemate with a couple of circuits at a steady tempo.

"The horses are good," Moore said. "Military Attack and Dan Excel have put the weight on nicely - Sterling City is much the same as he was before he won in Dubai in that he's not put the weight back on as quickly as the other two."

While Hong Kong's claim to both feature events are undeniable, it was Japanese player Tokei Halo that caught the eye with a strong piece of work.

He won four Group races last year, including the Grade 2 Sapporo Kinen last August.

He was narrowly edged out by local superstar Akeed Mofeed in last December's Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Cup before another brave effort in March's Dubai Duty Free at Meydan.

Aside from the quintet of Australian jockeys plying their trade in the KrisFlyer, Tommy Berry will guide Dan Excel in the Cup.

He secured barrier one at Thursday's draw and will carry plenty of support.


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