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Group 1 winner Hucklebuck is progressing nicely ahead of his return to racing in the 2015 edition of The Goodwood at Morphettville on May 16.
Hucklebuck started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival with an impressive victory in the Listed Durbridge Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on October 18 and he returned to Melbourne to take out the Group 3 Yellowglen Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
The Elvstroem gelding was a drifter in betting heading into the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington a week later, but he was given a lovely run in transit by jockey Dom Tourneur and he held-off the fast-finishing Lucky Hussler to record a maiden win at the highest level of racing.
Trainer Phillip Stokes elected to give Hucklebuck a lengthy stint in the spelling rather than set the four-year-old for races during the 2015 Melbourne Festival Of Racing or the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and he confirmed that his star galloper would head straight back to the spelling paddock after contesting The Goodwood.
“He’s been back in work for five weeks and he’s nearly ready to start doing some even time,” Stokes said.
“He’ll have one run in the Goodwood and then go for another little break and come back for the spring.
“He looks really well.
“He spelled well and I’m really happy with how he’s coming along.”
Hucklebuck was sent to Queensland for the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, but the talented galloper produced slightly disappointing performances in both the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben on May 17 and the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7 and Stokes ruled out a return to Brisbane for the four-year-old as he does not believe the gelding handles the right-handed way of going.
Stokes is chasing his first win in The Goodwood after previously finishing second and third with Squillani in 2003 and 2006 respectively, while he missed the placings with Squillani in 2004 and 2005 and Naden in 2004.
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