Darren Weir’s dual Group 1 winner Lucky Hussler heads the nominations for the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Lucky Hussler is one of seventeen horses entered for the Crystal Mile and goes to Moonee Valley on the back of winning the Group 1 $400,000 David Jones NBCF Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 10.
The Toorak Handicap was Lucky Hussler’s second Group 1 win after the Husson gelding showed his liking for the tight Moonee Valley circuit with a win in the $400,000 Brown Baldwin William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley during the Melbourne Autumn Carnival earlier in the year.
Weir said that Lucky Hussler came of age during his five year old season and contributed his Group 1 winning form to plenty of work along the beach which Weir swears by.
“He’s a special horse,” Weir said after Lucky Hussler’s Toorak Handicap win.
“To be able to win 1200 to a mile … he had a few little quirks early days, used to work against you. But the beach fixed that up, and now he works with you.”
“Obviously he’d been trained on a track all his life, and we just changed things around.
“It took a while to get him right, but once he started coming for us, his whole attitude changed, and then he started to put his head down and want to work and start enjoying things.”
The Lee and Anthony Freedman trained Disposition is also entered in the Crystal Mile and will face off with Lucky Hussler again after running second in the Toorak Handicap.
That was Dispositions second consecutive visit to the runner’s up stall after running second to Lucly Hussler’s stablemate Stratum Star in the Group 1 $400,000 Anthea Crawford Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield two weeks earlier.
Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller has entered four horses for the Crystal Mile, Amovatio, Flamingo Star, Moriarty and Strawberry Boy.
Amovatio continued his winning Winter form with a first up victory in the Listed $120,000 Perri Cutten Weekend Hussler Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 10 but will find it tougher stepping up to Group 2 level this week.
Flamingo Star hasn’t shown a lot this campaign but did make up plenty of ground last start when fifth in the Toorak Handicap while Strawberry Boy finished in eighth spot after showing his customary pace to lead the field up in the early and middle stages.
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Group 1 winner Moriarty’s best effort from four Spring Carnival runs was his last start fourth to Complacent in the Group 3 $125,000 Craven Plate (2000m) at Randwick on October 3.
Other notable nominations for the Crystal Mile are the John Thompson trained Hooked, John O’Shea’s English import Bow Creek and Queenslander Worthy Cause.
Caulfield Cup winning trainer Murray Baker has nominated Turn Me Loose after the four year old scored a comfortable win in the Listed $150,000 Darley Seymour Cup (1600m) at Seymour on Sunday.