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UAE Derby: Lucky Chappy in focus
by Geir Stabell / Globeform
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The UAE Derby (G2), a race that can set a horse up for the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs in May, is shaping up to be quite an open affair this time. And, whereas some will be hoping to cross the Atlantinc to even bigger tasks after World Cup night, one horse has been shipped the other way, to have crack at the $2 million classic at Meydan, namely Lucky Chappy. His form was given a boost last Sunday.

Lucky Chappy represents Team Valor International and trainer Graham Motion. He has quite an international background. Bred in Ireland, this son of Epsom Derby (G1) and Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) winner High Chaparral, began his career in Italy last year, where he won two of his three races before being exported to America. He has had four runs Stateside, without winning, but his form has been quite solid and this colt is bound to win a stakes event one day. In his most recent race, the El Camino Real Derby (G2) at Golden Gate Fields in California, Lucky Chappy was just a nose away from such success. Daddy Nose Best lived up to his name that day, and beat Lucky Chappy in a very close photo finish. Daddy Nose Best advertised the form nicely when winning the Sunland Park Derby (G3) on Sunday. The El Camino Real is run over 9 furlongs (about 1800 metres) over a Tapeta track, and as such an ideal prep for the UAE Derby over the same distance at Meydan.

Lucky Chappy's three previous races for Motion were all on turf, at three different venues. He was runner-up in the Bourbon Stakes (G3) at Keeneland las autumn, in a prep for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Churchill Downs, where he checked in fourth behind Wrote, Excaper and Farraaj. Lucky Chappy made his 3yo debut in the Kitten's Joy Stakes at Gulfstream Park in January, a month before the trip to Golden Gate Fields, and was a fast finishing second to his stable companion Howe Great. Lucky Chappy is bred to stay at least 10 furlongs, and that is also how he runs, normally delivering a strong run from off the pace.

Published: 2012-03-26 10:54:46

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