Age hasn’t dulled this happy gal­loper

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - MATT JONES

MIGHTY Lucky may be an eightyear-old now and had more race starts than any other horse in to­mor­row’s Group 3 Fes­ti­val Stakes (1500m) at Rose­hill Gar­dens, but the race­track is where he’s most happy.

Jockey Chris O’Brien has had a long as­so­ci­a­tion with the Fred Cow­ell-trained 55-start vet­eran and he said he’s as happy as he’s ever been head­ing into a big race.

“There’s plenty of life left in the old fella. He en­joys it, he loves it. He en­joys be­ing in work and he’s in a happy place,” O’Brien said. “He’s go­ing well and he’s re­ally

with his rac­ing so am I.”

Mighty Lucky is com­ing off a fourth plac­ing to Duca Valenti­nois in the Listed Ladies Day Cup (1400m) at Hawkes­bury.

He fin­ished three lengths off the win­ner that day but O’Brien said he al­most should have won

race.

“I thought his run last start was full of merit and he prob­a­bly should have chal­lenged the win­ner. We copped quite a bit of in­ter­fer­ence from the 400m to 200m. were jog­ging at that point,” he said.

“I thought his run in the Shan­non Stakes a few starts back was great and he’s close to a win.”

Mighty Lucky has a great record at Rose­hill and over 1500m.

He won’t be both­ered by bit of rain ei­ther he’s run be­hind Sir Plush and De­ploy this cam­paign.

His grand fi­nal will be in a fort­night in the Group 2 Vil­liers Stakes at Royal Rand­wick, but he can still win to­mor­row from an in­side draw.

“This is his sort of race, just below the Group 1s, and he’s got a pretty good record at Rose­hill. He’s never been too far away from them,” O’Brien said.

“He’s quite com­fort­able run­ning fourth or fifth off a good speed. It would be lovely to win on him.”

It’s a small, but com­pet­i­tive field to­mor­row and O’Brien said Cabeza de Vaca, which is on a five-race win­ning streak, will be hard­est to get past.

He’s been great at his two starts back from a long break and has been im­pos­si­ble to run down.

The Rose­hill track will suit him too and O’Brien knows he can’t give him too much of a head­start.

“We’ll just be in be­hind the speed as usual. You’d ex­pect Gai’s to lead and hard­est to beat be­cause it will be rock-hard fit and it won pretty well last time will keep im­prov­ing,” he said.

Chris O’Brien is pleased with Mighty Lucky’s work in the build up to the Fes­ti­val Stakes.

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