02/09/2017 4:34PM

A revitalized Lucky Ever goes for two in a row in Tai Hing Handicap


Lucky Ever performed far differently when he returned from a layoff in Hong Kong in November than his early 2016 form.

Lucky Ever was 11th and 12th in races in November and December before jockey Alexis Badel took the mount for the first time last month. The change in riders resulted in a victory for Lucky Ever at 34-1 in a minor handicap.

Lucky Ever and Badel will be after another win in Saturday’s $225,870 Tai Hing Handicap at six furlongs at Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong. The Tai Hing Handicap is the eighth race on a 10-race program that begins at 1 a.m. Saturday Eastern, or 10 p.m. Pacific on Friday. Wagering is available on DRFBets.com.

A 5-year-old gelding, Lucky Ever has won 4 of 12 starts since arriving in Hong Kong in the summer of 2015. Lucky Ever was a maiden race winner in New Zealand, when racing under the name Raise the Bar.

In the first half of 2016, Lucky Ever won 3 of 6 starts in Hong Kong.

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Lucky Ever will carry 131 pounds in the Tai Hing Handicap, two less than Pablosky, the top weight. Lucky Ever tends to run from off the pace and will need a favorable trip to hold off runners such as Perpetual Treasure, who was third to Lucky Ever on Jan. 22, and Sky Hero, who has been racing on the all-weather surface at Sha Tin.

Sky Hero won a minor handicap on Jan. 8 and takes a jump in class to a tougher division.

The seventh race on Saturday’s program is the $225,870 Sam Shing Handicap at about a mile on turf.

The field of 10 includes four runners who were well-beaten in the $1.28 million Hong Kong Classic Mile for 4-year-olds on Jan. 22 – Baba Mama (seventh), Circuit Hassler (eighth), People’s Knight (11th), and Let Us Win (12th).