High expectations for Caulfield and Bendigo runners

Feb 06, 2016

In-form stayer Lucques will be the first of five Ellerton Zahra Racing runners to hit the track at Saturday’s Caulfield meeting.

Lucques is racing in great heart and scored a deserved last start win at Flemington. The son of High Chaparral takes on a similar line-up in the Robert Hunter Handicap (2400m) with Damian Lane aboard.

Trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra initially looked at sending Lucques to Tasmania for the Hobart Cup but decided the Melbourne assignment was the right one for the promising galloper.

“The logistics of getting him over to Tasmania didn’t suit him but he’s going really well,” Zahra said.

“He’s learning and improving all the time so there’s no reason he can’t win again.”

Rough Justice and Trevinder will have a chance for stakes success in the $120,000 WJ Adams Stakes (1000m).

The 1000m trip will be perfect for both horses, who ran respectable races at Flemington and Moonee Valley respectively at the last outings.

“Neither of them were far away last time, This race is probably a bit harder than what they faced at their last starts but they have been working very well and deserve their chance,” Zahra said.

Lane will be aboard Rough Justice while Chris Symons has the ride on Trevinder.

Ellerton Zahra Racing will also be double-handed in the last race of the Caulfield meeting, the Thomas North Handicap (1400m) with Whistle Baby and Mrs President to tackle a smart field of mares.

The pair is at contrasting stages of their preparations with Whistle Baby at peak fitness after four solid runs back from a spell while Mrs President will be greatly improved on her eye-catching third first-up at Moonee Valley.

“We’re very happy with the way they are both going,” Zahra said. “Whistle Baby was only beaten 2-½ lengths in a stakes race last time and should find this easier.

“Mrs President flew home at Moonee Valley last time and the way the Caulfield track races late in the day gives her a good chance to finish over the top of them.”

Lane will be aboard Mrs President while apprentice Dylan Dunn will take 2kg off Whistle Baby’s 61kg handicap.

Ellerton Zahra Racing will have one runner at Bendigo on Saturday with the talented Seven Love expected to resume with a strong performance in the Bishop Joe Grech Maiden Plate (1100m).

Good luck to the connections of all runners.