Triple Group 1 winner Luckygray is the headline acceptor for the Belmont Sprint 2016 in WA this weekend, the injury-prone champion shooting for a second win in a race he won back in 2012.
Prepared by Trevor Andrews, the rising nine-year-old son of Bradbury’s Luck lines-up for his 32nd career run and is still only lightly raced for his age heading into this Saturday’s $150,000 Group 3 Belmont Sprint (1400m).
The gallant grey has amassed close to $2.7 million in prize money to date thanks to his major wins in the 2011 and 2013 Railway Stakes as well as the 2012 Kingston Town Stakes.
The Perth superstar also finished runner-up in the 2012 Railway Stakes and second in the 2013 Kingston Town at Ascot Racecourse.
Injury setbacks saw the champion race just once during 2014 and he was also kept to just a single start during 2015 when winning the Group 3 Roma Cup (1200m) last May, a race he also won in 2012 and finished fourth in in 2014.
Since then he won two trials at Belmont and Lark Hill respectively before returning for his fourth Roma Cup run, Luckygray crossing third to Battle Hero beaten only a length.
He returns to Belmont Racecourse on Saturday then engaging in back-to-back runs for the first time in nearly three years during his 2013 Perth Summer Racing Carnival campaign.
Shaun O’Donnell is booked to partner the evergreen warhorse from barrier six, Luckygray aiming for his sixth win from eight runs at the track.
This year’s Roma Cup winner Battle Hero is also set to do battle again with Perth’s premier hoop William Pike retaining the ride on the Grant Williams-trained Stratum four-year-old.
Battle Hero is undefeated at Belmont with three wins from as many starts at the course and is in flying form this time in.
Leading up to his Group 3 success on May 14 the gelding was a dual runner-up in Black-Type company at Ascot, Pike aboard for those two runs as well as the Roma Cup victory.
The other best out of the Roma Cup engaged for Saturday’s rematch in the Belmont Sprint is Vaughn Sigley’s runner-up, Magnus six-year-old Magnifisio.
The mare is best known for her Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) victory from 2014 and has been back to her best this autumn.
She won races at Ascot and Northam leading up to the Roma Cup second last time out and has Jason Brown in the saddle again on Saturday when jumping one outside of Luckygray in gate seven.
Also in good form coming into the Belmont Cup is the Justin Warwick-trained McFlirt mare Wink And A Nod, the six-year-old having defeated Battle Hero in a Listed mile clash two back.
She then finished third over 1400m at Ascot behind Magnifisio so comes via the right lead-up for her Belmont Sprint assignment from barrier one with Lucy Warwick riding.
Also drawn well in barriers two and three respectively are the Darren Mcauliffe-trained Trade Fair mare Fuchisa Bandana and the returning Teofilo five-year-old Resonates.
Fuchisa Bandana has a stellar record at Belmont of three wins, two seconds and two thirds from nine starts and was last seen running fourth to Magnifisio in early May in the Listed Northam Toyota Stakes (1100m).
See below for the full Belmont Sprint 2016 field, barriers and jockeys.
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2016 Belmont Sprint Final Field & Barrier Draw
Belmont Race 7 – 28/05/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.|
|1||4125x4x1x3||LUCKYGRAY||Trevor Andrews||Shaun O’Donnell||6||59kg|
|2||479x08683x||IHTSAHYMN||Fred Kersley||Steven Parnham||8||59kg|
|3||12205×4221||BATTLE HERO||Grant Williams||William Pike||4||59kg|
|4||262x70609x||MR UTOPIA||Steve Wolfe||Troy Turner||9||59kg|
|5||3x3x8604x6||CHECKPOINT||Neville Parnham||Brad Parnham||11||59kg|
|6||10x080x0x0||GRIS CARO (GB)||Don Wall||Glenn Smith||5||59kg|
|7||1x563150x4||HAZZABEEL (NZ)||Daniel Morton||Paul Harvey||12||59kg|
|8||x2125600x9||COUNTRYMAN||Nick Cox||Jordan Mallyon||13||59kg|
|9||x3202x2112||MAGNIFISIO||Vaughn Sigley||Jason Brown||7||57kg|
|10||2x453070x8||BALMONT GIRL||Paula Wagg||Shaun Mc Gruddy||10||57kg|
|11||240×691413||WINK AND A NOD||Justin Warwick||Ms Lucy Warwick||1||57kg|
|12||3311x275x4||FUCHSIA BANDANA||Darren Mcauliffe||Jarrad Noske||2||57kg|
|13||231437x20x||RESONATES||Gavin Slater||Joseph Azzopardi||3||57kg|