Adelaide three year old Hucklebuck showed that he is on track for the Australian Guineas with a dominant win in the Group 3 $150,000 C S Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington today.
Leading Morphettville trainer Phillip Stokes plans to have Hucklebuck at his peak in two weeks for the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington and on today’s performance he is definitely not far off the mark.
Hucklebuck was having his second run back from a spell and was sent out the $2.80 favourite after scoring first up at Morphettville on February 1.
The Australian Guineas has always been Stokes’ plan for the Elvstroem gelding and everything seems to be falling into place.
“He keeps stepping up every time, very good,” Stokes said.
“He relaxed, did a bit of buffering to get out, he is more seasoned, it didn’t worry him, that’s all pleasing.”
“Very pleased. We will just get him home now and we will just keep him ticking over heading towards the Guineas. We don’t have to do a lot with him.”
“The Guineas was always my plan, he has come a long way in a short time you know.”
Stokes said that anything pass the Australiam Guineas hasn’t been discussed but he will now talk with owner Thomas Li about the remainder of the Autumn Carnival.
“I’ll talk to Thomas and we’ll make a plan,” Stokes said.
Winning rider Dom Tourneur knew that he had plenty of horse underneath him and had him travelling smoothly in fifth and sixth spot before pushing out into the clear at the 400m.
But once into the clear Tourneur sat quietly until the 250m before letting Hucklebuck have his head and the three year old strode to the line to score a one and a quarter lengths win over Prince Harada ($7) who ran a much improved race with Craig Williams.
The Quarterback ($6) with Matthew Allen aboard also ran a nice race to wind up in third spot three quarters of a lengths back.