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No Japan for Lucky Sweynesse; Brenton Avdulla confident timing is right for HK test

Lucky Sweynesse’s barnstorming season is likely over, with trainer Manfred Man Ka-leung confirming his superstar sprinter will not head to Japan for next month’s Group One Yasuda Kinen (1,600m).

Lucky Sweynesse’s victory in Sunday’s Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1,200m) was the four-year-old’s third at Group One level for the calendar year, and the gelding has raced nine times this season for seven wins.

“We’re not going to Japan because the horse wasn’t eating very well after Sunday’s race. It could be time for a rest,” Man told the Post on Tuesday morning.

Lucky Sweynesse may not be seen on the track again until October, where Sydney’s mega-

rich The Everest or, more likely, the Group Two Premier Bowl (1,200m) at Sha Tin loom as kick-off options.

Meanwhile, Australian jockey Brenton Avdulla says he is ready to tackle Happy Valley for the first time as he prepares to begin his short-term Hong Kong stint with three rides at the city circuit on Wednesday night.

“I’m very lucky that a number of Australian riders have been successful in Hong Kong, so I’ve spoken to a few people. I suppose the closest track to it that I’ve been riding at is Canterbury, but I think Happy Valley looks tighter and faster,”

“I’ve tried to call everyone in the past week. I had a good chat to Caspar, and I’m very fortunate he’s going to support me. Ricky Yiu has given me a couple, and he’s obviously going very well. It’s a good kick-off point. Hopefully, I can ride well and get some more opportunities.”

After fulfilling a number of short-term contracts in Japan, Avdulla said the timing felt right to try his hand in Hong Kong.

“It’s something that’s always been very high up on my agenda. I always felt it was just a matter of timing. I’m 32 now, and when the Jockey Club approached me, I thought it was the right time. I’ve obviously got a young family, and I thought it was the right time to try,” he said, adding he is open to an extended stay in Hong Kong.

“At the moment, we’re all packed up, and Hong Kong is our life for the next three months. We’ll try to make it work, and we’re obviously going to assess the situation as we go, but we’ve come here with an open mind. If I enjoy the racing, my family enjoys it and I got an opportunity to, there’s no reason I wouldn’t look to extend. We’re going to know more over the next six weeks.”

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