Lucky Hussler is currently available at shorter 2015 Toorak Handicap odds than stablemate Stratum Star, but trainer Darren Weir believes that it is tough to split the duo ahead of the Group 1 event at Caulfield on Saturday.
Stratum Star got his nose down at the right time to take out the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 26 and Lucky Hussler had no luck in running in the same race, but he was still able to hit the line strongly to finish a credible sixth.
Weir told Racing Ahead that both horses have trained on strongly coming out of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and he is confident that the duo will both factor in the finish of the 2015 Toorak Handicap this weekend.
“Both horses are in great shape.
“They had a good strong gallop at Terang on Wednesday and they both looked terrific.
“It is very hard to get a guide on Stratum Star at home because he is a very casual track worker, but he looks fantastic and that is normally a good sign that he will run well.
“For Lucky Hussler, this is the race that we have aimed him at all preparation and if we can get a bit of luck in running he is sure to run well.
“If you go on trackwork you would go Lucky Hussler every time, but Stratum Star just keeps producing on race day.
“Maybe with the good draw and the turnaround at the weights Lucky Hussler might finish in front of the other one, but I’m not too sure and I am wrapped to have two horses in such good order going into the race.”
Stratum Star has been placed in his three previous starts over a mile in quality races like the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m), Group 3 Sandown Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), but he is still chasing his maiden win over the trip, while Lucky Hussler has never won a race over a distance greater than 1400 metres.
Despite these stats, Weir is confident that both Lucky Hussler and Stratum Star will be able to run out a strong mile in the Toorak Handicap and he revealed that Stratum Star is now ready to get out over a longer trip.
“Stratum Star will actually get over further and he could be a good ten furlong horse, so I don’t think it will be a problem for him,” Weir said.
“Lucky Hussler ran really well in the Emirates last year and I don’t think that the mile will be a problem.
“Hopefully they can use their barriers, get the right run, get their chance and if they are good enough I’m sure they will be right there.”
Lucky Hussler is currently available at 2015 Toorak Handicap odds of $5.50 with Ladbrokes, while Stratum Star is out to $7 to complete the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes/Toorak Handicap double.