2015 The Goodwood the Target for Hucklebuck

December 1st, 2014

Charging home to secure an impressive maiden victory at the highest level of Australian racing over the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, trainer Phillip Stokes has revealed her will keep short distance specialist Hucklebuck in South Australia to target the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) in May.

Hucklebuck will target the 2015 Goodwood Handicap upon returning to racing. Photo: Sarah Ebbett

Hucklebuck will target the 2015 Goodwood Handicap upon returning to racing. Photo: Sarah Ebbett

Undoubtedly returning to racing in career-best form over spring, Hucklebuck charged home to win the Listed Durbridge Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville first-up on October 18th and repeated to dose when finding the line in the clear in the Group 1 Yellowglen Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on November 1st.

Jumping from the gates well in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) on November 8th, the Elvstroem gelding received an ideal trip throughout before exploding from the pack in the final straight; finding the line half a length in the clear of closest rival Lucky Hussler.

Conceding the four-year-old does not perform well in the opposite way of going, Stokes told AAP he is confident Hucklebuck will get into the 2015 The Goodwood well enough with the weights and will then set his star for the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.

“I don’t want to send him to Sydney,” Stokes said.

“He didn’t go any good up in Brisbane that way of going, so I’ve ruled all that out and I’m just going to aim at the Goodwood here in May.

“With the set weights of the race he should get into it OK and then after that we’ll just aim him at Melbourne in the spring.”

Finished outside the places just twice in his 13 start career to date, Hucklebuck was a standout performer over the 2013 edition of the Spring Racing Carnival; winning two minors on debut and continuing to impressive when winning the Listed Gothic Stakes (1400m) and running second in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m).

Returning in autumn in similarly impressive form, the gelding out of Kondari won both the Dominant Handicap (1600m) and Group 3 CY Hayes Stakes (1400m) before an injury sustained in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) drew premature curtains on his campaign.

Having run fourth in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) and sixth in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) over a short winter prep this year, Hucklebuck is currently spending time in the spelling paddock before a return to work in January.

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