O’Brien’s Lucky he’s in the know

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - By RAY HICK­SON

THERE’S very lit­tle that jockey Chris O’Brien doesn’t know about durable gal­loper Mighty Lucky. It comes from spend­ing ev­ery morn­ing – and he’s not kid­ding about that on the seven-yearold’s back what Mighty Lucky is telling him is that he’s all busi­ness. O’Brien has been itch­ing to get Mighty Lucky back the races since the seven-year-old’s eye-catch­ing first-up fifth in Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) two weeks ago. That was a sign that the geld­ing over what­ever caused him to fail badly in his four runs the spring. “He’s ac­tu­ally a very smart horse, that’s half his prob­lem,” O’Brien said. “He knew there was some­thing not right with him last prepa­ra­tion and he started think­ing about it. “He wasn’t a happy horse, not in the right head space but this time he is ab­so­lutely lov­ing it. You can see he’s a com­plete- ly dif­fer­ent horse.”

So that gives O’Brien con­fi­dence the horse is ready to go one bet­ter than 2016 in to­mor­row’s Group 3 $200,000 Li­va­mol Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) de­spite hav­ing an­other awk­ward bar­rier to over­come.

Last year Mighty Lucky was beaten half a length by Amo­va­tio at his sec­ond run from a spell and was then also nar­rowly beaten, though un­placed, in the Scone Cup.

Trainer Fred Cow­ell has taken a fairly sim­i­lar path to Hawkesbury with the main dif­fer­ence be­ing Mighty Lucky won a 1400m Bench­mark 100 race at Rand­wick as his lead up while he tack­led the Group 3 sprint this year.

O’Brien said par­al­lels can be drawn be­tween his first-up ef­fort a year ago and slash­ing per­for­mance on an un­suit­able heavy track April 15.

“There were Group 1 win­ners in the field and he beat a cou­ple of them home so it shows how well he is go­ing this prepa­ra­tion,” said.

“He prob­a­bly likes it a bit drier which makes the run even bet­ter. He’s not re­ally heavy track horse.”

Of course O’Brien is a Group 1 winning rider in his own right hav­ing part­nered Sin­cero to vic­tory in the 2011 Ge­orge Main Stakes – one of 10 wins on board the former topliner.

The 47-year-old Gos­ford based jockey has been Mighty Lucky’s reg­u­lar rider since Nathan Thomas re­lo­cated to Queens­land about 18 months and also took over the track­work duty from last spring.

Chris O’Brien with Mighty Lucky

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.