The connections of Lucky Chappy had a welcome uneventful trip to the track at Meydan on Thursday.
Preparing for a start in Saturday’s UAE Derby at Meydan, Lucky Chappy galloped without incident on Thursday. The previous day, Lucky Chappy dumped assistant trainer and exercise rider Alice Clapham before resuming his training session.
“We’re quite used to it,” confirmed trainer Graham Motion after the March 29 gallop. “But everything went smoothly this morning. He had a proper gallop without any unusual events.”
The spirited Irish-bred son of High Chaparral (Ire), owned by Team Valor International, seems to be on the improve for Motion. While he is winless in the U.S., Lucky Chappy finished third in the Bourbon Stakes (G3) at Keeneland, second in the Kitten’s Joy Stakes at Gulfstream Park and missed by just a nose to Daddy Nose Best in the El Camino Real Derby (G3) at Golden Gate Fields last time out in his initial try over a synthetic surface.
The UAE Derby is highly competitive this year, and Motion said he is not sure how to assess Lucky Chappy’s competition, which includes runners from South America, Europe, Japan and the UAE.
Among his rivals on Saturday is Wrote, another talented son of High Chaparral and winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Churchill Downs for trainer Aidan O’Brien. Owned by Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor, Wrote will be making his first start on a synthetic surface on Saturday.
Post time for the UAE Derby is 10:25 a.m. (Est).
Dubai Racing Club contributed to this report.
Lucky Chappy/Hopwood photo courtesy of Dubai Racing Club