Lucky Hussler scored a feel-good victory for the comeback combination of Kent Fleming and Jason Taylor in the G3 George Moore Stakes (1200m) on Saturday.
The son of Vinery sire Husson (Arg) resumed from a five-month spell to land his second Group 3 following the 2012 Vo Rogue Plate (1350m).
It marked a successful return for his Gold Coast based trainer – Fleming is back on deck following a six month disqualification. Taylor was also on the comeback trail. He had been out of the saddle since April after shoulder surgery.
Lucky Hussler (4g Husson – Talaq Dancer by Black Hawk) powered home to defeat Morning Captain (Danbird) and Startsmeup (Danzero) in a busy finish at Doomben. “That was pretty impressive,” Fleming said. “It didn’t really surprise me – he’s one of those horses who can produce in a big race.”
The winner landed some large wagers after firming in from $13 into $9. He was initially listed as an emergency and only gained a start after the withdrawal of pre-post favourite Cape Kidnappers.
“This is the best horse I’ve trained,” Fleming added. “And he’s only going to get better – Santa has come early.”
Lucky Hussler will tackle the LR Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) on December 21 before the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 11.
“Once he found his rhythm, it was only a matter of reeling them in,” Taylor said on Saturday. “I took a lot of interest in him while I was on the sidelines. His didn’t have a lot of luck against some quality opposition during the winter carnival – he was nice and fresh today with only 54kg.”
Standing well over 16 hands, Lucky Hussler was a $100,000 buy for managing part-owner Glen Makauskas at the 2011 Gold Coast Magic Millions. His dam Talaq Dancer is an older half-sister to Australian Horse of the Year Weekend Hussler.
Husson and Weekend Hussler are both sons of champion sire Hussonet.
Husson was an undefeated Champion 2YO in Chile and was Australia’s Champion first-season sire by winners in 2011-12. He stands for a $16,500 (inc gst) fee at Vinery.
– Karl Patterson