Connections are keen to get a repeat performance from Hucklebuck this time next year, so the gelding will have a lightly-run autumn campaign before focusing the majority of their efforts towards the spring.
Hucklebuck won all three of his starts during the Melbourne spring carnival this year. He won the Listed Durbridge Stakes (1200m) first up by one and a half lengths before scoring the Group 3 Yellowglen Stakes (1400m) on November 1 despite losing a plate. The gelding then won the first Group One race of his career a fortnight later, taking out the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
The gelding settled three back from the fence and eased out around the bend. He made his move to challenge and starved off the late swooping Lucky Hussler by a neck in his best run.
Due to this success, trainer Phillip Stokes already plans to give Hucklebuck a light campaign in the autumn so he can be his best for the following spring.
While both the Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) in February are appealing, the trainer would rather give the horse a lengthy spell after a testing 2014 that saw him get just four months off between the Brisbane Winter Carnival and the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
“They’re all worth good money, but I’ll just put the horse first and we’ll give him a decent break,” Stokes said to Racing Victoria.
“The owner’s not a greedy man, so he’s happy to give him time.
“We’re keen to give him a decent break because he didn’t have much time off between Brisbane and spring (this year).
“We’ll probably just run him in something like The Goodwood over here and then target the spring again.”
The Group 1 Goodwood (1200m) worth $500,000 will run at Morphettville in May and be the perfect lead-in race for another winning spring.
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