HONG KONG • Healthy Happy made a glowing return after 194 days between runs in Saturday’s HK$3.7 million (S$642,000) Group 3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup Handicap over 1,400m at Sha Tin.
Given a gun trip by jockey Alexis Badel, the Frankie Lor-trained cost held on by a neck to disclaim Lucky Express and Excellent Proposal in 1min 22.10sec.
“It was a fantastic win from the horse. I am so happy to see him back at his best. He’s been a lovely horse to me and I’m so happy that he was able to deliver today,” stated Badel.
Healthy Happy, final season’s HK$12 million Hong Kong Classic Cup (1,800m) winner, casually crossed from Gate 7 to stalk the chief all through. He hit the entrance with 250m left.
The Zoustar gelding had three trials in preparation for his return, after pulling up with points following his weakening final place in June’s Group 3 Premier Cup Handicap over 1,400m.
“Last run, he had some heart problems and then a lot of blood (in his trachea). That took a lot of time to overcome,” stated Lor, who additionally gained the Group 3 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy Handicap over 1,000m with the unbeaten Master Eight.
“Then, sadly, on the finish of August, in his field, he almost pulled his foot out and he wanted a month and a half to heal, so I have to say thanks to the vet and the farrier.
“From there I trialled him three times and he improved every time, so to get the win today is a good result.”
Lor was tempted to run Healthy Happy in final month’s Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Mile over 1,600m, however determined to not go head-on with the Horse of the Year Golden Sixty, who gained the race again to again.
Healthy Happy could face Golden Sixty within the Group 1 Stewards’ Cup over 1,600m on Jan 23. – HKJC