Hucklebuck will return to the races in the 2015 The Goodwood and leading hoop Dom Tourneur is excited to reunite with the talented galloper in the Group 1 event at Morphettville on Saturday.
Tourneur has partnered Hucklebuck in 11 of his 13 race starts, including his maiden win at Group 1 level in the Emirates Stakes at Flemington on November 8 last year, and the jockey has done the majority of the work on the four-year-old as he builds towards The Goodwood this weekend.
Hucklebuck has been set for a first-up tilt at The Goodwood since he took out the Emirates Stakes last year and Tourneur told Sky Racing HQ that the Elvstroem gelding has had a flawless preparation for the Group 1 event.
“It has been a flawless preparation and we are looking forward to Saturday,” Stokes said.
“Everything has rolled along nicely this prep, it has been uninterrupted and it is what you like to see going into a Group 1.
“The trials were both very good and I gave him a final hit out this morning and he is ready to go.
“The plan was only to give him the run one in The Goodwood, tip him out and then bring him back for the spring.
“He certainly hasn’t taken any steps backwards, he is still as strong as ever and the good thing is that when he did trial the track was soft and he did seem to handle the track okay.
“We have had a bit of run around today and there looks like a bit of rain around for the week, so it is good to know that he was able to cope with the wet surface ok.”
Hucklebuck was given his final piece of serious trackwork in Adelaide this morning and Tourneur said that he was happy with the effort of the four-year-old.
Both trainer Phillip Stokes and Tourneur admit that Hucklebuck may not be at peak fitness for the 2015 edition of The Goodwood this weekend, but Tourneur is confident that the tough gelding will still be able to perform at his best and maintain his excellent first-up record.
“He just had a little stretch of his legs and in the last 400 we stepped the pace up for a little pipe opener and that will do him for Saturday,” Stokes said.
“He may be a touch soft, but class will carry him a long way.
“He goes out and gives it his all regardless come race day and I don’t think he is going to leave too much on the track.
“He is going to be as good as we like him too going to the race on Saturday.”
Hucklebuck is currently available at 2015 The Goodwood odds of $4.60 with Ladbrokes and is a narrow favourite from Black Heart Bart ($4.80), Lucky Hussler ($6.50) and Under The Louvre ($9).