After completing the dream of every trainer in winning the Melbourne Cup earlier this week, Ballarat horseman Darren Weir is downplaying the chances of his stablemates Lucky Hussler and May’s Dream in Saturday’s 2015 Emirates Stakes.
Weir’s $50,000 bargain buy Prince Of Penzance went out at 101/1 in Tuesday’s $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m), but a slow pace, a patient ride from Michelle Payne and the gap opening up at the right time saw the galloper defeat 23 better fancied stayers.
Now Weir has two final hopes of securing more elite level success this Melbourne Cup Carnival in the $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) back at Flemington this weekend.
He saddles-up last year’s runner-up Lucky Hussler (58kg) and progressive mare May’s Dream (52.5kg) in the capacity Emirates Stakes field at opposite ends of the weight scale, but is modest as ever when it comes to his confidence pre-race.
Twelve months ago this year’s top weight Lucky Hussler was runner-up to Hucklebuck and is drawn well for his second attempt in 2015 with gate three and Glen Boss aboard.
The six-year-old won the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) over the distance two back to break his mile duck before a third on Cox Plate Day in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) behind fellow Emirates Stakes fancies Turn Me Loose (1st) and Bow Creek (2nd).
He was red hot favourite in the Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley and disappointed not only the punters but also his trainer.
“I thought he was disappointing,” Weir told Racing Ahead on RSN on Friday.
“Glen [Boss] rode him really well. He loomed up on the corner, and just battled to the line. For what reason? I have no idea.
“He’s been good since. He had a good gallop on Tuesday morning at Warrnambool, and a couple of hitouts at the dunes yesterday morning, so he’s in good order.
“But he’d have to run better than last start.”
The bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au, home of Best Tote or SP + 20% on the full Emirates Stakes Day card at Flemington on Saturday, are taking no chances however with Lucky Hussler ($8.50) one of five single figure hopes in betting.
Drawn the outside alley (16 of 16), which has produced just one winner in 15 years with Tears I Cry (2007), is Weir’s other hope of winning his first Emirates Stakes May’s Dream.
The five-year-old New Approach mare has had six previous Flemington starts for three places and is a dual runner-up from four runs at a mile.
Her form has been good against her fellow mares this time in including the Group 3 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) third, the second to Fenway in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) and her last start fourth when beaten only one and a half lengths by Politeness in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) on Derby Day.
May’s Dream is on the seven day turnaround back over the 1600m at Flemington on Saturday, but while Robert Smerdon’s Myer Classic winner Politeness is a market mover and $10 hope to win the Emirates, May’s Dream is at $18 with Chris Parnham booked for the ride.
“When I put the blinkers on her mother, it improved her a lot. So I’m hoping it runs in the family, but I’m only guessing there too,” he said of last year’s Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) winner who is a daughter of 2003 Melbourne Cup second placegetter She’s Archie.
“She’s had a little bit of knee trouble throughout her career. Any give in the ground would be a plus for her I would’ve thought.”
Now is the time to open your account at our preferred online sportsbook Ladbrokes.com.au as they are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% not just on Saturday’s two Group 1 races but the entire Flemington card!