The Darley Classic 2015 on the closing day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington in early November is a possible Grand Final target for Phillip Stokes’s multiple Group 1 winner Hucklebuck.
A five-year-old son of Elvstroem raced at Morphettville in South Australia, Hucklebuck is only lightly raced for his age and boasts a strong record of eight wins from 14 starts to date.
He is best known for his elite level win in Melbourne last spring when beating home Lucky Hussler (2nd) and The Cleaner (3rd) to take out the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) over the Flemington mile on the back of a Group 3 win over 1400m at the track just seven days earlier.
Hucklebuck failed his next assignment however when he returned in mid-May back home to run a disappointing 12th behind Flamberge in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville.
Stokes is now looking at first-up options for the $1 million earner this spring in Victoria with a possible major aim on November 7 in the $1 million Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on Emirates Stakes Day.
He returns to Stokes’s stable later in the month on the back of a spell after he pulled up sore post his below par Goodwood run in the winter.
Stokes said if they didn’t target the Darley Classic then the other option would be waiting until January for a million dollar race at the Gold Coast on Magic Millions Day – options including both the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) and the Magic Millions Sprint (1100m).
“He might get to the back half of the spring, but if not we might look at taking him to the Gold Coast for a million dollar race,” Stokes told Racing Victoria.
“If I do get him up in time for the spring it would only be for a sprint race towards the back end of the carnival.”
Stokes has saddled-up two previous Darley Classic contenders, neither of which finished in the money in the race also known as the VRC Sprint Classic.
While his Group 1 victory was over the mile, Hucklebuck is also a proven sprinter with a number of wins over 1109 – 1250m including his first-up success at home last October in the Listed Durbridge Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville.
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