Gary Poletti’s controversial Railway Stakes winner Luckygray is set to make their much awaited race return in the Roma Cup 2012 at Belmont Racecourse this Saturday, the four-year-old gearing up for another big year on the turf.
The four-year-old Bradbury’s Luck galloper boasts a commanding race record of seven wins and a second from 10 starts, their spring – summer campaign at the end of last year particularly impressive.
Luckygray won their opening four starts for the season including a big three and a half length win in the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m).
They went on to cross second behind Kiwi galloper He’s Remarkable in Perth’s richest race, the $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot in November.
He’s Remarkable was regulated to second however with Luckygray rewarded the Railway Stakes victory upon protest.
Last seen running fifth to champion Playing God in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) on December 3, the promising grey galloper returns this Saturday in the $125,000 Group 3 Roma Cup (1200m).
Drawn in barrier eight of nine Luckygray will be ridden by regular hoop Shaun O’Donnell, aboard for all five of their starts last prep, as they look to maintain their flawless first-up record.
Poletti is happy with the way the horse has come through their spell and is confident going into the Roma Cup showdown.
“I am really pleased with how he looks,” he said.
“He will never be a really big, robust individual but is now 45kg heavier than when he won the Railway and he has matured mentally as well.”
While it will have been nearly six months since their last run when they line up on Saturday, Luckygray showed they were race fit with a good two length barrier trial win over 1000-metres at Belmont back on May 14.
“He won the trial quite easily, without any pressure being applied, and he has come through that hit out bucking his brands off,” Poletti said.
“We will probably only give him two or three runs this preparation before sending him to the paddock and then target some of the better races later in the year.”
It should be a cracker of a Roma Cup clash this year with other notable hopefuls including Fred Kersley’s dual defending champion Grand Nirvana, the Dan Morton-trained Zester coming off a win in the Listed HG Bolton Sprint (1200m) at track, and Grant Williams’ former ace three-year-old Dreamaway looking to recapture the form that saw the now four-year-old More Than Ready mare win the WA Oaks – WATC Derby double last year.
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