Trainer Darren Weir this week confirmed Group 1 winning sprinter Lucky Hussler would not accept or run in the Stradbroke Handicap 2015 at Doomben on June 6 and instead was paddock-bound ahead of a spring return.
The five-year-old son of Husson, a winner of six of his 28 starts to date, won the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley in late March in his first run since finishing second to Adelaide raider Hucklebuck in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington during November’s Melbourne Cup Carnival last spring.
He has failed to finish in the money in his two post-William Reid runs however when finishing sixth and seventh respectively in Randwick’s Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) behind Dissident and Morphettville’s Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) on May 16 last time out.
Beaten under three lengths by The Goodwood winner Flamberge, Lucky Hussler was among the nominations for Queensland’s richest race – the $2 million Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1200m) to run at Doomben Racecourse Saturday week.
Allocated 56kg, weights led by Chris Waller’s Doomben 10,000 winner Boban (58kg), Lucky Hussler will now miss the Queensland classic although his trainer has assured nothing is amiss with the horse.
“There’s nothing wrong with him but after discussing it with the owner we decided to give him a good break and concentrate on the spring,” Weir told Racing Victoria.
“He was galloped on in Adelaide but I don’t think it would have affected his performance.”
In the spring Weir said possible targets for Lucky Hussler were the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Charity Cup (1400m) and Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) both at Caulfield and both won in 2014 by the fellow Weir-trained Trust In A Gust.
Also an option was another shot at the Emirates Stakes.
All-in Stradbroke Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au meanwhile are led by Robert Smerdon’s The Straight Six winning filly from last weekend Lumosty ($7).
A three-year-old daughter of Fastnet Rock, Lumosty has won four of her nine starts to date including Moonee Valley’s Group 2 Fillies Classic (1600m) last Cox Plate Day.
She is also a Group 1 performer having run sixth when beaten four and three quarter lengths by Set Square in the Crown Oaks over 2500m at Flemington last November.
Despite leading the Stradbroke markets, Lumosty is in danger of being balloted out of the race currently sitting 31st on the order of entry with only 50.5kg.
Three $8 hopes then follow closely in the pre-field markets with The Goodwood fourth placed Black Heart Bart, the John O’Shea-trained Generalife and the currently not-nominated Najoom from the Gai Waterhouse team.
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