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Zac Purton celebrates aboard Sprint winner Lucky Sweynesse.
The shortest of the International Races at Sha Tin is the HK$26 million (US$3.33 million) Longines Hong Kong Sprint (G1) at 1200 meters, the richest 6 furlong turf sprint in the world, and the final leg of the Global Sprint Challenge. last year's beaten favorite and 6th place finisher Lucky Sweynesse was sent off as the 3-10 favorite in the field of 10 off his win in the Jockey Club Sprint (G2), the main local prep. In to challenge him included 13-2 second choice Wellington, third in the Jockey Club Sprint after disappointing in 10th in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee (G1) at Royal Ascot, and 8-1 third choice Victor the Winner, second in the Jockey Club Sprint.
Jockey Yuga Kawada sent 68-1 longest shot Jasper Krone to the lead through fractions of 23.76 and 46.29 while pressed by Victor the Winner and stalked by 19-1 Highfield Princess and favorite Lucky Sweynesse. Into the stretch Jasper Krone tired as Victor the Winner took over at the 3/16 pole, but Lucky Sweynesse, confidently ridden by Zac Purton, surged ahead inside the 1/16 pole to win by 3/4 length over late-running 36-1 Lucky With You in 1:09.25. It was another length back to Wellington third.
# Horse Jockey Win Place 1 Lucky Sweynesse Purton 2.70 2.02 9 Lucky With You Atzeni 10.10 2 Wellington Badel 3.50 Winning Time: 1:09.25 $1 Quinella 1-9 14.95 $1 Exacta 1-9 17.10 $1 Trifecta 1-9-2 65.60Results Chart from HKJC with video replay
Left: Lucky Sweynesse in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Zac Purton said, "I had the run inside Victor The Winner but when James (McDonald) went for him, he shifted in and hampered me a little bit but he (Lucky Sweynesse) accelerated so quickly, I was able to come out across his heels and he had his chance from there – he did what he had to do. I love him."
Right: Lucky Sweynesse heads out to the track before the race.
Left: Lucky Sweynesse parades for the fans after the race. Purton added, "He's been our best sprinter for the last year, and he was able to atone for last year. I could feel in the morning his trackwork had improved, and his action was getting a little bit better. His all-around demeanor in the morning was getting back to where it was last season. I could see he was blossoming at the right time."
Right: All the connections and officials pose with the trophy and winner's banner after the trophy presentation for the Hong Kong Sprint.
Left: Second place finisher Lucky With You heads out to the track before the race. Jockey Andrea Atzeni said, "He ran a blinder. He's a very straightforward horse. We had a good draw, which helped, and we followed Lucky Sweynesse, who was the one to beat. He finished off quite nicely and he was beaten by a champion."
Right: Third place finisher Wellington heads out for the post parade. Jockey Alexis Badel said, "It was a good effort from him. I was happy with the run. With the blinkers on, I was trying to save his energy for the last dash. I thought I came to win and he hit the line strong but not strong enough."
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