Morphettville trainer Phillip Stokes is unlikely to sanction a Sydney Autumn Carnival campaign for Australian Guineas favourite Hucklebuck.
Stokes hasn’t completely ruled out a trip to the Harbour City, but said that Hucklebuck would have to do something special in the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday to warrant a Sydney trip.
“If he was dominant or something we might look at the options but at this stage I’d say not,” Stokes told the Sportsman.
“It’ hard to get then to peak twice in one prep.”
Hucklebuck is nominated for the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 12 and the Group 1 $600,000 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick in a fortnight is also an option if the three year old runs up to Stokes’ expectations.
Stokes has Hucklebuck ready to tackle the 1600m of the Australian Guineas at his third run in and is confident that he will handle the distance better than when he ran second as favourite to Paximadia in the Group 3 $200,000 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington in the Spring.
“Last prep we gave him the one go at the mile and he seems more tractable than then,” Stokes said.
“In the Spring when they backed off the tempo he started over racing but he’s more seasoned now.”
Hucklebuck kicked off his Autumn Carnival campaign with a win over 1200m in three year old class at Morphettville before heading to Flemington two weeks ago to win the Group 3 $150,000 C S Hayes Stakes (1400m) beating Australian Guineas rivals Prince Harada and The Quarterback.
Leading Adelaide jockey Dom Tourneur will again be on Hucklebuck after riding the gelding in three of his five wins including his last start victory in the C S Hayes Stakes.
The Australian Guineas market order at Ladbrokes.com.au has Hucklebuck the $3.80 favourite ahead of the Bart and James Cummings trained Eurozone at $4.20 and Cox Plate winner Shamus Award at $5 with The Quarterback the next in the betting at $11.
Sydney colt Criterion and Autumn Stakes winner Thunder Fantasy share the next line of betting at $13 with Prince Harada and the Queensland trained Teronado both at $15.