Group One Double for Sebring
Leading Australian sire Sebring has enjoyed a red letter weekend with his daughter Egg Tart capturing the Group I SAJC Australasian Oaks and this his brilliant son Lucky Bubbles leading home an Aussie bred trifecta in the Group I Chairman’s Sprint Prize at Sha Tin on Sunday.
A $90,000 Inglis Premier purchase from the Three Bridges Thoroughbreds draft, Lucky Bubbles was second to Chautauqua in this race last year and was also second to Aerovelocity in the Group I HK International Sprint last year so was overdue for a win at the top level.
He powered to the line for Hugh Bowman to win the 1200 metre sprint by a neck over Mr Stunning and Not Listenin’tome .
The win ended a frustrating run of minor placings for Lucky Bubbles (image courtesy HKJC), whose overall record is eight wins and seven placings from 19 starts.
“It has been a tough year,” said his trainer Francis Lui.
“He’s tried so hard but he’s been a little bit unlucky, he struck trouble in a couple of his runs and so he should have won one or two more.”
Lucky Bubbles had been the regular ride of Brett Prebble, who partnered the galloper at all 16 of his Hong Kong starts before Sunday and who had been aboard the horse in trackwork 175 mornings this season alone.
However, connections opted to switch to Prebble’s compatriot Hugh Bowman, with the Sydney-based rider having his first sit aboard Lucky Bubbles on Sunday afternoon.
“I’ve said all along I don’t think Brett did anything wrong, and I must thank him – he has done so much work with his horse,” Lui said.
“He has looked after the horse and has treated him so well. However, Hugh has a different riding style and I think the horse just needed a little bit of a change. He had a good draw too, which helped today.”
Bowman was able to get the best from Lucky Bubbles, who travelled just behind the leaders.
“From the good draw and with a predictable race pattern, I was able to be where I anticipated I’d be just behind the speed,” Bowman said.
“The horse was able to travel comfortably within himself in that position because the pace was not frantic.
“I was a little concerned about where I’d go at the top of the straight because there wasn’t a clear passage, but I didn’t have many options other than to wait a while. With a little bit of patience, a run presented itself and we all know the tenacity and toughness this horse has. He proved it today and he made luck for himself.”
Lucky Bubbles was bred by Gilgai Farm and consigned for sale on their behalf by Three Bridges.
He is the first foal of stakes-placed Bubble Below, a half-sister by Hussonet (USA) to stakes-winner Lunaspur and three-quarter sister-in- blood to Group II winner Colorado Claire, the dam of brilliant two year-old Gunnison.
Winner of the Group II ATC Todman Stakes, Gunnison was sold to Hong Kong interests at the inaugural Inglis Chairmans Sale last month for $1.4 million.
Bubble Below has been entered for the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale and will be consigned by Riversdale as Lot 1086 and is offered in foal to Sebring.
Lucky Bubbles is the fourth Group I winner for Sebring joining Dissident, Criterion and Egg Tart.
The Golden Slipper winner stands at Widden Stud this spring at a fee of $66,000.