Talented gelding Hucklebuck will return to the races, for the first time since he was beaten as favourite in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 1, in the 2014 Fred Best Classic at Doomben on Saturday.
Hucklebuck arrived in Brisbane on Friday after leaving Adelaide earlier in the week and trainer Phillip Stokes told TVN that the Elvstroem gelding had settled in well in Queensland ahead of the Fred Best Classic this weekend.
“It was a long way but we broke it up over several days and he arrived safe and well last Friday,” Stokes said.
“We were able to give him four weeks off after the Guineas and he seems to have come back very well.
“He’s first-up on Saturday over 1350 metres so he’s going to be a little bit vulnerable.”
Hucklebuck has had just eight starts since making his racing debut with a four and a half lengths win in the Kevin Sheedy At Gawler Maiden (1109m) on August 11 and has always promised to deliver at the highest level of racing.
The three-year-old won his second race start in Adelaide and finished an unlucky third behind Lion Of Belfort and Nite Rocker in the Mitchelton Wines Plate (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 27 before scoring his maiden win at black type level in the Listed Gothic Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 19.
Hucklebuck finished his spring campaign with a second place finish behind Paximadia in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day and started his autumn preparation with back-to-back wins in the Dominant Handicap (1200m) at Morphettville on February 1 and the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 15.
The gelding started the Australian Guineas as a clear favourite, but was unable to make up ground in the final stages of the race and Stokes remains unsure whether the three-year-old is capable of running out a strong 1600 metres.
Hucklebuck will run in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1400m) at Eagle Farm on May 31 and is chance of backing up in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) a fortnight later if he performs well in the $350,000 event.
Hucklebuck ($11) is currently on the fifth line of 2014 Stradbroke Handicap betting markets behind Rebel Dane ($7), Buffering ($9), Spirit Of Boom ($9) and Catkins ($9).