Unbeaten three year old Lucky Liberty will be on trial for the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 7 when he lines up in a restricted race on Saturday.
Caulfield trainer Henry Dwyer has set his sights high with Lucky Liberty but insists that the gelding needs to maintain his unbeaten record at Flemington in the $80,000 Flemington Rose Garden BenchMark 78 Handicap (1420m) if he is to continue on an Australian Guineas path.
“He’d have to win tomorrow (Saturday) obviously then we’d go forward to the C.S. Hayes (1400m) at Flemington in three weeks’ time and then on to the Guineas two weeks after that,” Dwyer told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“If he does get beaten tomorrow it’s not the end of the world because there’s a nice race for him at Moonee Valley in a fortnight.”
A win on Saturday would see Lucky Liberty progress to the Group 3 $150,000 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 21.
Lucky Liberty has scored two impressive wins at his only two starts with a first up win over 1200m in a Mornington maiden on December 28 followed by a three lengths win over 1200m again in a BenchMark 64 Handicap at Sale on January 15.
Dwyer has said that he had always held a high opinion of the State Of Liberty three year old and even though his record reads two from two, he hasn’t really been fully tested yet.
“Going into both of his runs to date I’ve been pretty easy on him knowing that he’s got really good ability and trying to make sure he stays together in one piece,” Dwyer said.
“He’s come out of the run at Sale really well. It was realistically just a bit more than a track gallop but he’s certainly come on a lot more fitness-wise than he had going into his first two runs.”
Jockey Michelle Paine will be aboard Lucky Liberty again looking for a hat trick of wins and the pair will jump from barrier eight in the ten horse field.
Lucky Liberty currently heads the market order for the Rose Garden Handicap with Ladbrokes.com.au at $2.40 ahead of the Peter Moody trained Running Bull at $4.20.
Topweight Running Bull will only have to carry 57kg with boom apprentice Regan Bayliss’ 2kg allowance and is coming off a nice win over 1250m in a 0 – 82 Handicap at Morphettville Parks on January 17.
On the third line of betting at $8.50 is I Am Invincible colt Convincible who has won two from his last three starts, including a last start win in a 1200m Benchmark 78 Handicap at Flemington on January 10.
In early Australian Guineas betting Lucky Liberty is listed as a $17 chance with Caulfield Guineas winner Shooting To Win heading the market order at $6.50.