Danny O’Brien’s promising youngster Lucky Generation races at Sandown Lakeside on the weekend in an attempt to win and earn a 2014 Caulfield Guineas assignment this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The Lucky Owners colt is $3.60 favourite through Ladbrokes.com.au to win the opening at Sandown on Saturday, the $80,000 Samson Handicap (1400m).
A win will see them break their maiden status at just their second start.
Lucky Generation debuted at Caulfield on May 17 and was impressive when just a long neck away second behind Segregation in a 2YO Plate over the 1200m.
They did their best work late there and get the chance to go one better when stepped up in distance this Saturday, jockey James Winks to ride them from barrier seven.
“We certainly would expect him to be able to run a strong mile,” O’Brien told Racing Victoria.
“He’s come through the run really well.
“Obviously it was his first trip to the races so he’s learned a lot of from it and he’s also made good fitness improvement from the run and the couple of gallops that he’s had since.
“James was particularly taken with him and was actually staggered that he didn’t win.
“He said he couldn’t believe how quickly he let down but obviously the winner was a horse of high quality as well.”
O’Brien will use their performance this weekend then as a gauge for where they could head in the spring.
At this stage he’s hoping the galloper develops into a Group 1 horse with the $1 million Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in October the hopeful target after they missed the Blue Diamond this year.
“He’s a colt that we’ve always ranked in our better ones in his age group and we’d love from him to show us tomorrow that he’s good enough to be set for the spring,” O’Brien said.
“He’d need to be winning a race like tomorrow’s before we’d set him on a Caulfield Guineas path.
“He wasn’t going to be up and about early enough for the Blue Diamond but he’s made a really good progression, so if we can see improvement and hopefully a win tomorrow, we’d have no hesitation in setting him for the spring.”
It’s a pretty open field for Saturday’s race with four other single figure hopes, two of which come off a last start win.
One of those is the David Hayes-trained Devil’s Harmony ($5.50), a Pentire filly O’Brien rates the form of having run second to her with Notonyourlife at Sandown on May 14.
“I trained the horse that ran second to David Hayes’ filly at Sandown and I was really taken with her performance,” he said.
“She was going to win that race from a long way out and obviously Mick Price’s colt (Seenaan) was very good at his only run so far down the straight at Flemington.
“We’ve seen plenty of times where horses can come from these supposed off-season two-year-old races and bounce into better races in the spring.
“There’s so much depth now in Victoria with a lot of stables having good quality youngsters that any Saturday two-year-old race can potentially throw up a really good horse.”
Futures Caulfield Guineas betting is already open now at Ladbrokes.com.au, the pre-nomination markets led by the Chris Waller-trained Brazen Beau ($10) who races in Saturday week’s $500,000 Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) in Brisbane.
Lucky Generation is also listed in the early Caulfield Guineas odds as a $31 chance, a price likely to firm should they win on Saturday and O’Brien confirms spring plans.
For all the latest ante-post Group 1 odds for the coming spring features head to Ladbrokes.com.au where your first deposit will be matched dollar for dollar as a bonus bet valued up to $250 as a new customer.