Trainer Henry Dwyer still has faith in his star three year old Lucky Liberty as he prepares to contests the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Dwyer went to Flemington on February 21 full of confidence after Lucky Liberty had won all his three race starts prior but the Statue Of Liberty gelding blew all his chances with a buck jumping display shortly after the start.
But the Caulfield trainer is confident that if Lucky Liberty jumps on equal terms this week that he will figure in the placings.
“It was a disaster,” Dwyer told the Herald Sun.
“He was out of contention from the jump.”
“If he jumps with them he will be right in the finish.”
Lucky Liberty lost ten lengths at the start after his saddle slipped and was unable to be competitive before finishing eleventh to the Gai Waterhouse trained Wandjina in the Group 3 $150,000 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m).
His failure to earn any prizemoney saw Lucky Liberty slip way down the order of entry to number twenty-five for the Australian Guineas but Dwyer still has his hopes up that he will make the final field of sixteen.
“He is number twenty-five in the order of entry. He’ll come in to about sixteen with scratchings because thankfully the Sydney horses are staying home for the Guineas there on the same day,” Dwyer said.
“I believe if he gets a run, which he should do, he will be right in it.”
“Even though he missed the start, he still ran home the last 1200m faster than anything that finished ahead of him. The eleven of twelve doesn’t read too well, but his run was far, far better than that.”
The lightly raced Lucky Liberty kicked off his career with a debut win in a 1200m Mornington maiden on December 28 before winning a BenchMark 64 over 1200m at Sale on January 15.
A tough win at his next start after being caught wide in BenchMark 78 over 1420m at Flemington on January 31 convinced Dwyer to step him up to Group company in the CS Hayes Stakes.
Lucky Liberty was sent out as one of the main chances but was never in the hunt after blowing the start.
Wandjina put up a terrific front running display to win the CS Hayes Stakes and the Waterhouse colt will be very hard to beat again in the Australian Guineas.