Phillip Stokes’ visiting Adelaide-trained three-year-old Hucklebuck is narrowly leading the 2014 Queensland Guineas betting markets ahead of this weekend’s Queensland Oaks Day showdown at Eagle Farm Racecourse.
A capacity field of three-year-olds is facing off in this year’s $350,000 Group 2 Sky Racing Queensland Guineas (1400m) with the widely-drawn Hucklebuck top of the odds at $4.60.
The Elvstroem gelding drew barrier 15 but will come into 11 if the first four of the five emergencies all come out.
Winner of the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes over this distance at Flemington in February, Hucklebuck was tested at Group 1 level following that for their eighth behind Shamus Award in the Australian Guineas over the mile.
They were beaten only two and a half lengths there and were suffering from respiratory issues so it was a brave effort and one they were given a break after.
Hucklebuck then returned to racing at Doomben on May 17 for a close fourth to Havana in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m), an effort they’re tipped to improve on with a fitness testing run now under their belt.
Second favourite in Queensland Guineas betting at $5.50 is then winner of that lead-up race, Havana.
Paul Messara’s Scone-based son of Starcraft is drawn nicely in barrier four for Saturday as they look for back-to-back Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival feature wins.
They’ve been thriving in the sunshine state too having also run second on May 10 in the Listed Mick Dittman Plate (1100m) so should be on track for another big run here.
The three other single figure chances for the Guineas are then the rails-drawn Dothraki ($7), Bernardini colt Agadir ($8) and Kiwi raider Costa Viva ($9).
Gerald Ryan’s Mossman colt Dothraki also seems to be enjoying their time in Brisbane having won their Queensland debut two back in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m).
They then ran third in the form line for this race when just a length off Havana in the Fred Best where they boxed on well.
The John O’Shea-trained Agadir meanwhile races in Queensland for the first time here having finished in the money in all five of their career starts to date.
A three time winner, most recently at Warwick Farm in January, Agadir hasn’t raced since a second to Order Of The Sun over the mile at Randwick in early February but are undefeated first-up (2-2-0-0) so can be competitive here off the break.
Costa Viva meanwhile is over from New Zealand for her Matamata based trainer Jason Bridgman, the Encosta De Lago filly having won three of her seven starts back home.
She’s best known for her Group 1 1000 Guineas (1600m) success back in November, with her latest run being a nice fourth behind Dothraki in the Gold Coast Guineas after travelling across the Tasman for the first time.
Outside of these the market opens up but a number of others still have genuine claims including the Gai Waterhouse-trained up-and-coming Sebring colt Longma ($15) and Mick Price’s Group 3 winning Fastnet Rock filly Jazz Song ($17) coming off a fifth to Stradbroke Handicap hope Srikandi in Brisbane last weekend.
See below for the full Queensland Guineas 2014 betting odds, fixed win prices open online now at our No. 1 recommended bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au.
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