Lucky Sweynesse bounces back with Sprint Cup victory

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Lucky Sweynesse

sealed consecutive HK$5.35 million Group 2 Sprint Cup (1200m) wins on Sunday at for Hugh Bowman and trainer Manfred Man.

Banishing the memories of back-to-back defeats across his last two outings, Lucky Sweynesse returned in emphatic style on rain dampened ground to round up the field in 1:09.17 as favourite, while Invincible Sage held on for second with Flying Ace grabbing third.

“He needs no introduction. He's Hong Kong's best sprinter and he has been for some time. He's an ultra-consistent horse and it's an honour to ride horses of this calibre. It was just delightful to get the job done today,” Bowman said.

Now the earner of HK$74.27 million, Lucky Sweynesse is a 16-time winner from 24 starts – including four times at Group 1 level – and was crowned Hong Kong Champion Sprinter (2022/23) last season.

Lucky Sweynesse settled at the rear as fired to an early lead. Turning into the home straight, Bowman sat patiently aboard the five-year-old before pressing the button in the final furlong to run down a tenacious Invincible Sage.

“I was confident in the run because I thought the pace was frantic early and I was able to get in a really smooth, comfortable rhythm throughout. I knew what I had underneath me when I asked him to extend,” Bowman said.

Lucky Sweynesse finished sixth in the HK$13 million Group 1 (1200m) and fifth in the HK$13 million Group 1 (1400m) before today.

The 132-rater will now chase consecutive wins in the HK$22 million Group 1 Prize (1200m) on (Sunday, April 28).

“At this moment, I'm very happy and we will plan for 28th of April, 1200 (metres) for him again. I hope he can keep his form but I think it should be no problem,” Man said.

Lucky Sweynesse has won three times this term. He captured the HK$26 million Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) last December.

“The horse normally keeps very well but the last few runs we've had a little bit of bad luck and then this race Hugh Bowman rode a good race for us – more patient,” Man said.

Fly-in jockey will reunite with Lucky Sweynesse next start.

Trained by David Hall, Invincible Sage made his first appearance at Group 2 level today. Flying Ace is also under Hall's care.

“I know Invincible Sage very well and it was no surprise to me to see him perform at the level he did. He's just got a little bit of maturing to do before he reaches the level of Lucky Sweynesse, if he ever does. But he's a lovely progressive horse as well and it's good to see him competing so well,” Bowman said.

Invincible Sage has won three times in Hong Kong, twice under Bowman. The four-year-old placed second in the HK$4.2 million Group 3 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy Handicap (1000m) last January.

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