Lucky Striker surprised punters but not trainer Saab Hasan with a convincing victory at Caulfield on Saturday.
The three-year-old was sent out a $21 chance in the Story Landscaping Handicap and after trailing the leader, sprinted away over the final 200m with veteran hoop Darren Gauci aboard.
“He’s been a consistent horse. I couldn’t believe the price he was today,” Hasan said.
“All his runs have been full of merit.”
Hasan was convinced Lucky Striker could finish in the first three stepping up to 1400m after two runner-up performances at Kyneton and Mornington last month.
The Flemington trainer now plans to give Lucky Striker his chance in the Listed Adelaide Guineas over 1600m on May 3.
“I want to try him over a mile, all going well,” Hasan said.
Self Sense ($14) stayed on after leading to finish 3-1/2 lengths away in second with I Am Titanium ($10) running home strongly from back in the field for third, another long neck away.
Gauci, a four-time Melbourne premiership winner, doesn’t get the opportunities he once did but was delighted to land a rare Saturday winner in town.
“I’m happy to be back in town and riding winners in town is even better,” Gauci said.
Meanwhile, the Leon Corstens-trained Tried And Tired has continued to work his way through the grades, notching his fifth win from eight starts.
Corstens ruled out testing the four-year-old in next Saturday’s Group Three Victoria Handicap (1400) at Caulfield after his 1-1/4 length win.
“That’s why I ran him today, to avoid that,” Corstens said.
“I want to give him every chance. He’s a nice horse in the making and I think we’ll just plod along and get what we can, when we can.”