Lucky Liberty justified his favouritism in the Flemington Rose Garden Handicap (1420m) on Saturday, winning his third consecutive start despite getting caught three-wide without cover for the entire trip on a windy Melbourne day.
The Henry Dwyer-trained colt was $2.90 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au to make it three from three and found enough to defeat Siegestor ($13) by a head with Best Suggestion ($9) a further one and a half lengths away in third.
Lucky Liberty won his maiden at Mornington back in December before winning a Benchmark 64 over 1200 metres at Sale on January 15. Following his third straight win at Flemington on Saturday, the colt has booked himself a tilt at the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 7.
No one is more surprised at Lucky Liberty’s form than Dwyer himself.
“We thought coming into this autumn that we might be the Trust in a Gust type horse and just chase VOBIS Gold prizemoney but he might be better than that,” the trainer told TVN.
Michelle Payne has ridden Lucky Liberty in all three of his starts, admitting she always saw the potential in the three-year-old.
“Right from the first time I rode him as a two-year-old at the jumpouts he showed that he had that x-factor about him and he’s never let us down,” she said.
“It was never going to be pretty (from barrier eight).
“When I got here and the wind was quite strong in the straight, I thought if I get too far back and they go too slow it will be too hard to pick them up.
“So if he was going to be wide but a bit closer to them I had the faith that he was going to be too good for them.”
The colt will be tested at the black-type level of racing for the first time on February 21 in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) before the 2015 Australian Guineas a fortnight later.
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