Zoustar’s Healthy Happy Wins G3 Chinese Challenge Cup
Widden Stud’s champion sire Zoustar has wasted no time putting runs on the board in 2022 posting a New Year’s Day stakes-winner in Hong Kong with Healthy Happy capturing the Group III Chinese Club Challenge Cup (1400m) at Sha Tin .
Five year-old gelding Healthy Happy raced previously in Australia as Leviathan, but has gone on to achieve bigger and better things for the Frankie Lor stable after starting his career in Sydney with Peter and Paul Snowden.
Healthy Happy was having his first start of the new season and scored a determined long neck win over fast finishing Toronado (IRE) gelding Lucky Express with Excellent Proposal (Exceed and Excel) in third place to give Aussie bred horses the trifecta.
“It was a fantastic win from the horse, I am so happy to see him back at his best. He’s been a lovely horse to me and I’m so happy that he was able to deliver today,” said winning rider Alex Badel.
Under a first-rate ride by the Frenchman, Healthy Happy – last season’s HK$12 million Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) winner – casually crossed from barrier seven to stalk the leader throughout, before hitting the front with 250m left to run.
“I got beat by Sky Darci last year because I was carrying a light weight and I was waiting a little bit that day for the sprint but maybe the horse was outpaced,” Badel said.
“Today, I had no hesitation when the horse showed me the desire and I had no hesitation in just letting him go – the result is fantastic.”
Frankie Lor revealed Healthy Happy had overcome some serious issues to return to top form.
“Last run he had some heart problems and then a lot of blood (in his trachea), that took a lot of time to overcome. Then unfortunately, at the end of August, in his box, he nearly pulled his foot out and he needed a month and a half to heal, so I need to say thank you to the vet and the farrier,” said Lor.
“From there I trialled him three times and he improved every time so to get the win today is a good result.”
Happy Healthy was a $375,000 Magic Millions purchase for James Harron Bloodstock from the draft of Woodside Park and has the overall record of six wins and four placings from 15 starts with this victory his second Black Type success in Hong Kong.
Bred by Lachlan River Bloodstock, Healthy Happy is the first foal from Group III placed Lonhro mare Lady Lakshmi, a half-sister to stakes-winner Celebrity Girl (the dam of Group II winner Instant Celebrity) and stakes-placed Albaicin (dam of Group III winner Generalife).