This Saturday in Melbourne local horseman David Hayes and his new co-trainer Tom Dabering will saddle-up his 2014 Caulfield Guineas bound colt Moonlight Hussler in the Vain Stakes at Caulfield.
One of a few livewire chances on PB Lawrence Stakes Day this weekend for Hayes, including his Caulfield Cup hope Spillway who races in the meeting’s namesake race, Moonlight Hussler is nominated for the $150,000 Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m).
The Vain Stakes this year drew a bumper 20 three-year-old colts and geldings at nomination stage including the exciting Mick Price-trained Group 1 performers Cornrow and Jabali along with their last start Moonee Valley winning stablemate Nordic Empire.
Another beguiling hopeful then hails from Hayes’ Melbourne stables with Hussonet colt Moonlight Hussler to have just the second run of their career.
They debuted at the track back on October 12 last year in the Listed Inglis Debutant Stakes (1000m) racking up some nice early prizemoney snaring the $72,500 winners’ cheque with their tidy half length victory over Good Prince.
Originally Hayes planned to test them in Group 1 company as a juvenile in the autumn majors but a shoulder injury set them back.
“He was so impressive winning at his only race start that we had high ambitions for him that included the Blue Diamond and the Golden Slipper but he broke down in the shoulder region and that meant he missed a lot of racing,” Hayes told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Hayes trialed them last week then at Cranbourne over 990m with the galloper running third to Simmering on a Heavy (10) track ahead of their new season return as a three-year-old.
While they are likely to need the run, the same as their imported stablemate Spillway, Hayes is still confident in Moonlight Hussler’s chances in the Vain Stakes.
“I’ll be excited to see how he goes but he, like Spillway, may need the run,” he said.
They will be given the chance to progress through the ranks this season then in their second campaign.
A major goal they could then shape up to be a genuine contender for is the $1 million Group 1 BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) back at the track on October 11.
Futures Caulfield Guineas betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by Gai Waterhouse’s JJ Atkins winner Almalad and the Chris Waller-trained Brazen Beau.
Moonlight Hussler meanwhile is at the opposite end of those markets at a juicy $67, a price that will firm dramatically if they can show up the top fancies on Saturday.
The Caulfield Guineas is the major aim for the bulk of the Vain Stakes hopefuls including all three of Price’s runners who could also contest the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) in Sydney on September 13 first.
Also with Caulfield Guineas ambitions this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival but rough in the markets and set to resume in the Vain Stakes is the Robbie Laing-trained Boomwaa last seen
Get behind your early Group 1 hopes this spring online at the right price through Ladbrokes.com.au and get instant access to your winnings in cash from any ATM in the country thanks to their exclusive Ladbrokes Card system!