Form expert Daniel O’Sullivan has Lucky Hussler on top of his 2016 Ladbrokes Orr Stakes tips and he believes that the in-form galloper will be very tough to beat in the Group 1 event at Caulfield on Saturday.
Lucky Hussler was a consistent performer during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival, where he produced a career best performance to win the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m), and he produced another stellar performance to take out the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 9.
O’Sullivan believes that there are a number of factors that heavily favour Lucky Hussler ahead of the Orr Stakes and he has the Husson gelding rated much shorter than his current Ladbrokes Orr Stakes odds of $4.60.
“He is clearly the horse to beat,” O’Sullivan said.
“There are just so many boxes that get ticked with Lucky Hussler.
“The first thing is that outside of Exosphere’s win in the Golden Rose, Lucky Hussler holds the next two best performances over 1400 to 1600 metres this season, so he is definitely the highest rated horse in this race.
“He ran very close to his best when he won there at the Magic Millions, so he has a recent figure up to that level and he has the residual fitness.
“He is just drawn beautifully in barrier eight on a track that should play evenly.
“He has a powerful finish and he can run up to a level that these other horses are very unlikely to be able to match first-up.
“If he is anywhere near his best I expect him to win and at around $4.60 he is a really good gamble in this race.”
Turn Me Loose is currently on the second line of Ladbrokes Orr Stakes betting and O’Sullivan admits that the Emirates Stakes winner is definitely the major danger to Lucky Hussler in the Group 1 event.
O’Sullivan expects Turn Me Loose to take up the running in the early stages of the Orr Stakes and he feels that the Kiwi galloper will take plenty of running down late.
“I assume that he is going to be ready to fire first-up and we saw last preparation that he has the ability to cruise along at a high speed and just keep going,” O’Sullivan said.
“He is the only other horse in the field that has the ability to push to a level that could stretch Lucky Hussler if he is somewhere close to his best.
“I think he is clearly the next best chance in the race and somewhere around that $5 is his right price.
“I expect him to lead and straightening up he is going to give a bit of a kick and it is just a matter of whether the others can run him down.”
Lucky Hussler is currently available at 2016 Ladbrokes Orr Stakes odds of $4.60 and he is a narrow favourite from Turn Me Loose ($4.80), Boban ($8.50) and Bow Creek ($10).