Kent Fleming’s George Moore Stakes winner Lucky Hussler has opened top of the odds to go back-to-back in Brisbane this summer with a win in Saturday’s Lough Neagh Stakes 2013.
The Husson four-year-old is one of 14 gallopers facing off in Doomben Race 8 at 4:20pm (local time) – the $175,000 Listed SKY Racing Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m).
Drawn ideally in barrier four with Michael Cahill to ride, Lucky Hussler gets in with 56kg meeting the Paul Messara-trained top weight Mahisara three kilos better off.
The gelding is second-up this prep having resumed off a five month spell at the track on December 7 to win the Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m) in a narrow finish with Morning Captain.
There they carried only 54kg however and so must handle a rise in weights and a rise in distance.
Neither should prove a problem however as Lucky Hussler has form right up to a mile and has also carried as much as 61kg in their previous runs.
This considered, the bookies have them as the Lough Neagh Stakes betting favourite paying $4 in the latest markets.
It’s a wide open field this year however with five of their rivals also under double figures with:
- #13 Love Rocks ($4.50) – Stratum four-year-old from Toowoomba making their mark in Sydney and Brisbane this season, last two efforts were winning ones firstly by 3.5 lengths at Eagle Farm in November and then by 2.5 lengths at Doomben earlier this month, go up from Class 6 grade to black type here but get in on the 54kg and should get a gun run from gate six
- #2 Morning Captain ($6.50) – Kelly Doughty-trained galloper carries second heaviest weight (58kg) but deserving of that allocation not having finished out of the money in all five of their runs this season, two back was a very close third to Better Than Ready in the Listed Keith Noud Handicap then backed up when defeated a long neck in the George Moore Stakes carrying 57.5kg and 57kg respectively, should be right in the finish again
- #4 Benny’s Buttons ($8) – Kelso Wood-trained Brisbanite out to improve on an eighth in the George Moore, before that was very close second in the Keith Noud, George Moore forgivable as they lost a plate and were injured during the run, should be back on track here and in gate two can get a good run with Ric McMahon riding
- #1 Mahisara ($9.50) – Has 59kg top weight and the far outside barrier (14) to overcome but still the bookies won’t put them at double figures, third-up for the season here, latest run being on November 16 at Caulfield where they won the Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1400m), has had a freshen up since and ready to return home and make an impact when they step down in class
- #3 Startsmeup ($9.50) – Bruce Hill-trained Gold Coast galloper having just their second run for their new trainer, Hill took over last month and their first run for him was a third when beaten only half a length in the George Moore, they had 57kg and barrier nine that day and on Saturday go up to 57.5kg and out to barrier 12 so are going to need to be at their best to feature in the finish again
Just outside these top chances are then a number of other hopes with claims including George Moore fourth placegetter Steel Zip ($12), the resuming Mishani Warrior ($15) last seen winning at Eagle Farm in September and Qfighter ($15) coming off a second to second pick Love Rocks.
Check out the full Lough Neagh Stakes 2013 odds below, prices you can lock in right now online at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the summer’s hottest horse racing markets!