Hong Kong trainer Ricky Yiu continued a memorable season by claiming the Police Cup Hcp (1200m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday evening with WA-bred sprinter Lucky Eight.
Lucky Eight was bred by Ian Riley at Woodbridge Thoroughbreds and he had made an immediate impact when first getting mobile at the tail-end of last season in Hong Kong. He was due to debut in May only to be withdrawn on vet advice but made amends winning two in a row at Sha Tin in June – July for the UNO Eight Syndicate.
This season has been a tale of missed opportunities but Yiu was understandably in high spirits welcoming him back to scale after the breakthrough. He was still walking on air after winning the Group 1 Hong Kong Derby (2000m) last Sunday.
“Lucky Eight is versatile. I can keep him at Happy Valley or I can take him back to Sha Tin,” Yiu said while admitting he struggled to absorb the Group 1 achievement of his stablemate Voyage Bubble. “I needed a couple of days. It was a thrill and such a surprise because most of my horses are sprinter-milers.”
Lucky Eight (pictured) is a lightly-raced 4yo gelding and there’s more improvement with just 10 starts under his belt. He tracked Majestic Knight (Redoute’s Choice) and jockey Karis Teeton took the short way home when the leader drifted off the rails into the straight.
“This horse reminds me of Amber Sky,” Yiu said when making comparisons with his former stable star who was a Group 1 winner in Hong Kong and Dubai. “He has a very good mindset which is most important for a sprinter.”
His dam Hussy Five Oh (Husson) had been a $47,500 buy for Riley from Scone-based Willow Park at the 2018 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale on the Gold Coast. She was carrying Lucky Eight and he made $80,000 through Western Breeders Alliance (as agent) at the 2020 Perth Magic Millions Yearling Sale.
The mare’s following foal, a filly by Magnus, was retained by Riley in a syndicate with Amelia Park’s Peter Walsh. Named Magnalee, the 3yo filly is paying her way with two wins at Pinjarra and placings at Ascot and Belmont this time in for trainer David Harrison.
Another Magnus – Hussy Five Oh filly sold to Harrison for $70,000 at this year’s Perth Magic Millions Yearling Sale.
Fellow WA-bred galloper Eason completed a double for the Westspeed breed at Happy Valley in the Hollywood Hcp (1200m) on Wednesday. It was his fifth win in little over a year for trainer Frankie Lor and owner Vivian Li Yi Mei
Eason (4g Written Tycoon – Prete A Partir by Choisir) was bred by Gold Front’s Alan Olive and his younger half-sister by Royal Meeting (Ire) was a bargain $30,000 buy for Sharon Miller out of Gold Front’s consignment to this year’s Perth Magic Millions Yearling Sale.