American star Cannonball aimed at Lightning run
International sprinter Cannonball will be the first American-trained galloper to race in Australia when he contests next month’s Group One Lightning Stakes.
A winner of four races and placed another eight times in 20 starts, the five-year-old will arrive at Sandown racecourse’s quarantine centre from Hong Kong on Tuesday.
Cannonball will contest the $500,000 Lightning (1000m) on January 30, a leg of the 2010 Global Sprint Challenge.
He could have his autumn program extended to include the $500,000 Futurity Stakes (1600m) at Caulfield on February 27 with that race part of the Asian Mile Challenge.
Trained by Wesley Ward for Ken Ramsay, Cannonball has competed at the highest level on three continents this year and most notably was second to Art Connoisseur in the Group One Golden Jubilee Stakes (1207m) at Royal Ascot in June, four days after finishing sixth to Scenic Blast in the Group One King’s Stand (1006m).
Last month he was third to Ramon Dominguez in the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint (1308m) at Santa Anita before suffering a setback with an elevated temperature and finishing 10th to Sacred Kingdom in the Hong Kong International Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin on December 13.
Cannonball is on the same flight from Hong Kong as the Australian gallopers Apache Cat, Scenic Blast, Racing To Win and All Silent who all raced at the recent International meeting.
The quintet have spent the past two weeks in quarantine in Hong Kong and will spend another fortnight at Sandown.