Adelaide trained Hucklebuck scored his second win in a week with a tough victory in the Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington today.
Morphettville trainer Phillip Stokes made the right call when he decided to back up Hucklebuck this week after the four year old took out the Group 3 $200,000 Yellowglen Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on the first day of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival last Saturday.
Stokes was in two minds after last week’s victory if he should back up Hucklebuck in a week and was uncertain if the Elvstroem gelding would run out a strong 1600m.
But given a sweet ride by Dom Tourneur just behind the leading division, Hucklebuck ($10) proved that the 1600m was no problem to win by a neck.
As expected The Cleaner ($16) with Steven Arnold aboard, set a solid tempo but Tourneur was able to keep in touch and swooped on the leader at the 300m and held the lead to the winning post.
Glen Boss on Lucky Hussler ($7) had plenty of time to run down the winner but couldn’t catch him while The Cleaner just kept giving and held on to run third.
The John O’Shea trained Contributer with James McDonald on top was sent out the $4.80 favourite but after being back near the tail of the field in the early and middle stages made up some ground in the straight to finish eighth, three and a half lengths from the winner.
“He was friendless today in the betting. There were a lot of doubters about the trip, saying that he couldn’t get the trip, obviously backing up, but he has a lot more friends now,” Tourneur said.
“I was happy where I was. I was on the back of Leebaz and Hooked who I thought were probably be the two main chances. Managed to track into the race very well under a hold and when I let him go he put paid to the race and he was just too good.”
Stokes was quick to start the celebrations with the winning connections and also praised the ride of Tourneur.
“He just tried so hard this horse. Dom gave him a good ride,” Stokes said.
2014 Emirates Stakes Result
|1||7||HUCKLEBUCK||Phillip Stokes||Dom Tourneur||–||5||55.5kg||$10|
|2||9||LUCKY HUSSLER||Darren Weir||Glen Boss||0.2L||13||55kg||$7|
|3||2||THE CLEANER||Mick Burles||Steven Arnold||1.45L||6||58kg||$16|
|4||10||LEEBAZ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||2.2L||3||54.5kg||$9|
|5||5||HOOKED||John P Thompson||Craig Williams||2.3L||4||56kg||$5.50|
|6||16||ESCADO||Matt Laurie||Stephen Baster||3.3L||7||52.5kg||$81|
|7||4||SMOKIN’ JOEY||Wez Hunter||Ben Melham||3.5L||11||56.5kg||$21|
|8||6||CONTRIBUTER (IRE)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||3.6L||2||55.5kg||$4.80F|
|9||8||STIPULATE (GB)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Wayne Lordan||5.85L||10||55.5kg||$51|
|10||3||SPEEDINESS||Colin Scott||Hugh Bowman||5.95L||1||57kg||$21|
|11||1||RIVER LAD||Natalie McCall||Tommy Berry||7.2L||12||58kg||$71|
|12||15||RHYTHM TO SPARE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Chad Schofield||10.7L||8||52.5kg||$16|
|13||11||BULL POINT||Chris Waller||Damien Oliver||10.8L||9||54kg||$9|
|14||14||I’M IMPOSING (GB)||Chris Waller||Damian Lane||12.8L||14||53kg||$51|
|15||13||DESERT JEUNEY||Nigel Blackiston||James Winks||52.8L||15||53.5kg||$26|