Horse Racing - Fownes: Lucky Nine unlucky in big races

Lucky Nine trainer Caspar Fownes remembers the day his feisty galloper almost kicked him but claims the horse has been unlucky.

Reuters
Horse Racing - Fownes: Lucky Nine unlucky in big races
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Lucky Nine unlucky in big races (Reuters)

That was the day Lucky Nine the colt became Lucky Nine the gelding.

The Irish-bred six-year-old runs in the Group 1 £650,000 KrisFlyer Sprint in Singapore on Sunday and while the speedster is a joy to race these days, his high-strung antics saw him offered to seven different trainers in Hong Kong before arriving at Fownes' stable.

"He nearly got me with both barrels one day," Fownes told the Singapore Turf Club website on Tuesday. "I was in his box when he let fly and luckily his two legs went whizzing past either side of me.

"That was it. Straight down to the vets we went and off went his manhood. That certainly silenced him a bit..."

Fownes said third favourite Lucky Nine seemed to respond well to travelling around the region to race and showed up well in Japan last year at the Group 1 Sprinter's Stakes. His 11 wins include the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint in 2011.

"He's a lovely horse to have around the stable and he knows when it's time to head off on a trip. He gets all excited when he gets the head gear and the boots on," Fownes added.

"I think he just loves getting out of Hong Kong for a bit of a change.

"He hasn't had a lot of luck in some big races and I think he possibly should have another two International Group 1's to his name," Fownes said.

"He was really unlucky in Japan last year and then in Hong Kong he was slow out but ran home in the fastest last 800m in finishing fifth."

Among the other foreign raiders making up the 11 starters in the 1,200 metre dash at Kranji Racetrack are Dux Scholar, owned by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, the Mike de Kock-trained Kavanagh and Australia's ante-post favourite Bel Sprinter.

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