Lucques fights hard for Flemington success

Jan 16, 2016

Developing stayer Lucques survived a dual challenge from the Chris Waller stable before claiming Saturday’s Rain Lover Handicap (2500m) at Femington.

Lucques emulated his half-brother Rebel Raider when he won over the Flemington 2500m course with Rebel Raider’s victory at the distance coming in the 2009 Victoria Derby.

Lucques finished 1.8 lengths behind the Waller-trained Danjeu in the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) on New Year’s Day but met him 3.5kg better in the Rain Lover Handicap, which proved the difference at the end of the $80,000 race.

The Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra-trained Lucques ($5) hit the front early in the straight but Danjeu ($4.60 eq. fav) and his stablemate Quick Strike ($6) joined him with 200m to run before the winner found plenty late under jockey Damien Oliver’s urgings to score by a half-length.

“He dropped the bit about four times in the run and when Damien pulled him out three-wide, he was able to improve pretty quick to get into the race,” Zahra said.

“When they came up to him in the straight, he fought on well. He’s a really good horse that is still learning about racing.”

Zahra said he and Ellerton wanted to keep Lucques in work to continue giving the 16-start veteran much-needed racing experience.

However, Zahra said the stable would need to assess their options before deciding the next run for Lucques.

“We’ll have a look at how he pulls up and work it out from there,” Zahra said.

Lucques's latest win was his fifth in 16 starts while the $49,500 winner's cheque took his stakes tally to more than $160,000.

Congratulations to Lucques's owners and all involved with the promising galloper's Flemington success.