Hong Kong sprinter Lucky Nine is the first of the international spring carnival contenders to arrive in Australia after earlier fears he would be delayed by Typhoon Usagi.
Trained by Caspar Fownes, Lucky Nine left Hong Kong on time and travelled to Werribee on Tuesday ahead of his assault on the Group One sprint double, the Manikato Stakes and Patinack Farm Classic.
The winner of the KrisFlyer Sprint in Singapore, Lucky Nine will be the first overseas sprinter to contest the Manikato on October 25.
Hong Kong Jockey Club vet Robyn Graham arrived with Lucky Nine at Werribee and said the six-year-old, an experienced traveller, fared well during the eight hour flight from Hong Kong.
Leigh Jordon, Racing Victoria’s International Recruitment Officer, said Lucky Nine’s presence was significant for Australian racing.
“It brings in a great new chapter for the international participation in the carnival, not just from the perspective that this horse is from Hong Kong but also that we are now also attracting world-class sprinters to Melbourne,” Jordon said.
“The staff travelling with Lucky Nine are also very pleased with the A1 facility here at Werribee so it has all started well so far.”
Lucky Nine will be on his own at Werribee until Saturday when he will be joined by seven European horses preparing for the Cups and the Cox Plate.