Quality South Australian sprinter Hucklebuck lived up to his favourite status with a soft win in the Group 3 $200,000 Yellowglen Stakes (1400m) at Flemington today.
Top Adelaide rider Dom Tourneur always had Hucklebuck in a prominent position mid race and once he eased to the outside in the straight, the Phillip Stokes trained four year was never going to get run down.
Tourneur had to push Hucklebuck out of the barriers to be in the first half of the field and even though he travelled a bit keenly when in the one out, one back position, he proved too strong to hold off the Tony Gollan trained Alma’s Fury and Generalife in the Godolphin blue.
Stokes was excited to train his first winner on Derby Day but will have to discuss with the owners if Hucklebuck will return to Flemington next Saturday to run in the Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m).
The top Morphettville trainer believes that the 1400m of today’s race is as far as Hucklebuck wants to go at this stage of his career.
“We’ve had to experiment with him with the distances and I think that 1400m is as far as he wants at this stage,” Stokes said.
“I did have him in the Emirates but I don’t know if we will go there. I’ll see how he pulls up.”
“It was a good win today, he deserves that win.”
“Dom gave him a great ride. He got cover on him and that’s all he had to do, I didn’t care where it was, he trained on nicely since his first up win and done the job.”
Hucklebuck was sent out the $2.80 favourite and won like a good thing by three quarters of a length over the Queenslander Alma’s Fury ($12) with Generalife ($8) running a solid race to finish third.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Woodbine was also well in the market at $7.50 but never threatened to finish sixth after always being back near the tail of the field.