Tuesday, 24 April 2012
: New Darley sire Ad Valorem's only progeny at Kranji, Lucky Xuan, overcame knee surgery to score first-up at odds on Sunday.
| Lucky Xuan |
The three-year-old by former UK dual Group 1 winner (x Danzig
) made a promising start at his only race in Singapore last June when third to Pint Sized Prince. But his left knee woes soon began, a setback which spelled a lengthy time on the sidelines.
After giving the gelding owned by Mr Tan Gim Guan all the time in the world to recover after two successful surgeries, trainer Cliff Brown was rewarded for his patience in the $65,000 Ninetivefive Emperor 2003 Stakes (1200m), a race for Restricted Maidens.
Ridden by jockey Danny Beasley, Lucky Xuan
was one of the best away, crossing over from his wide gate to settle into the lead, with favourite Precisely
(Joao Moreira) nicely tucked away in third on the fence.
Lucky Xuan ($139) was able to get away to a soft lead to turn for home with plenty in hand. When Beasley called upon him for the last dash at the top of the straight, it was soon evident the others would have their job cut out.
While Select Gathering
(Opie Bosson) could not reel him in, Precisely
was shaping up as a clear danger as he was peeled out for his run. Lucky Xuan however dug deep to hold his challenger at bay by three parts of a length, running the 1200m on the Short Course in 1min 11.92secs.
“He's a lovely horse and I'm glad he's come back good from his two surgeries to his knee,” said Brown. “Dr Dan Shaw (from the Singapore Turf Club Veterinary Department) has done a great job on him.
“I wasn't quite sure how he would go today as he hasn't raced in blinkers for so long. I left it to Danny (Beasley) to decide on how to ride him.
“It's a horse I picked myself at the Ready-To-Run sales. I like the new sire and this guy is from his oldest batch.”
Beasley said Lucky Xuan had good sprinting ability which should be tapped on until he shows any signs he may go over more ground.
“He's one of the more progressive sorts at the stable,” said Brown's No 1 jockey. “I ride him in all his work and I really like him, but my confidence was dented when he drew so wide today.
“He was very sharp, though, and we were lucky to get such an easy run in front. He gave a really good kick in the straight, and I guess the short course is such an advantage when you are on the speed like that.
“The other horse (Precisely
) had a chance to beat him but he held his line all the way.
“I think at this stage he's showing very good sprinting ability. I don't think he needs to be tested over further for now.”