Sunday at the Sunshine Coast sees the postponed...
Jockey Chris O’Brien believes Saturday’s 2017 Villiers Stakes is the right race for a return to winning form for the Fred Cowell-trained galloper Mighty Lucky.
At odds with his name, Casino Prince eight-year-old Mighty Lucky has in fact been pretty luckless this Sydney Summer Racing Carnival.
At Hawkesbury two back the veteran warhorse copped a number of bad checks on the home straight eventually running fourth in the Listed Ladies Day Plate (1400m).
Last time out the gelding raced at Rosehill Gardens on December 2 and again things failed to go his way when a length away fourth to the Gary Portelli-trained Testashadow in the Group 3 Festival Stakes (1500m) on a rain-affected track.
O’Brien partners Mighty Lucky for the third time on the trot this weekend heading to Royal Randwick for the weight-for-age Group 2 $250,000 Inglis Villiers Stakes (1600m) and believes his mount could be in for a reverse of fortunes.
“He’s raced pretty well all prep but without a lot of luck,” O’Brien told Racing NSW.
“He was interfered quite badly down the running at Hawkesbury, it probably doesn’t show as much on the head on as it did on the back shot.
“He was skittled five or six times that day and still picked himself up to run fourth.
“In the Festival he just didn’t handle the track. He never travelled at any stage but when I asked him to go he tried to quicken.”
An always-honest galloper for the Gosford-based Cowell, Mighty Lucky chases his first win since the Group 3 Lord Mayors Cup (1615m) at Doomben in May of 2016.
He bypassed last year’s Villiers Stakes, but contested the 2015 edition running just over two lengths back third to Happy Clapper as a $21 roughie.
That was sandwiched between his wins in that year’s Festival Stakes, over subsequent 2017 Doncaster Mile winner It’s Somewhat, and Boxing Day’s Group 3 $150,000 Summer Cup (2000m) that could be on the agenda again this year.
O’Brien has his 17th start on Mighty Lucky in the Villiers Stakes field for 2017 and after partnering the horse in a nice piece of trackwork this week is confident the horse will run better than his outside price suggests.
“I can’t fault him at home, all his work has been great,” the hoop said.
“He galloped Tuesday over 1000m and went brilliant for him.
“He’s not a super track worker but just a good old tradesman.
“He’s ticked all the boxes leading up to it and gets in with a good weight (55kg) for a change.
“Hopefully he can crack it, it’s the right race to do it.”
Villiers Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au has the in-form Godolphin galloper Interlocuter at $3.50 to make it four on the trot from a favourable barrier four draw.
Mighty Lucky can be found much further down the Villiers Stakes odds at $21.
To back your Villiers Stakes 2017 betting selections at the right price this weekend head to our preferred online sportsbook Ladbrokes.com.au.
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