In almost three decades of training, Queenslander Peter Hulbert has never had a horse good enough to campaign interstate – until now.
Eagle Farm-based Hulbert will start Black Jag in the Listed Dulcify Quality (1900m) at Rosehill on Saturday and he can’t wait.
Hulbert’s son, Will, has accompanied the colt to Sydney where he will board at the Warwick Farm stables of Clarry Conners.
Will Hulbert spent time working for Conners and Gai Waterhouse and has told his father he rates Black Jag among the best horses he has ridden.
“He says the horse gives him a special feel and there are only two horses he has ridden that compare to him,” Hulbert said.
“They are Grand Armee and Belle Du Jour.
“Saturday will test his judgment.”
Black Jag has a win and two placings from eight starts but Hulbert has taken heart from his fifth to Mahisara in the Listed Centenary Classic Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm in June.
Strike The Stars finished seventh in the same race and has since been Group Two placed at weight-for-age and won the Gloaming Stakes, earning favouritism for the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday week.
“Strike The Stars is favourite for the Spring Champion and we’re 100-1,” Hulbert said.
“We’ve always felt he would be looking for more ground as he got older.”
Black Jag is by 2006 Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Excites and Hulbert says it was love at first sight.
During a trip to the sales to buy an Al Maher filly, he spotted Black Jag.
“I’d just got him out of the box and I literally had goosebumps,” Hulbert said.
“He is jet black and he just looked sensational.
“Just as that happened (managing owner) Mark (Timms) rang and I said, `Mark you’ve never seen anything like this in your life. If you were here you’d buy him’.
“Mark said `Well you’re there so you buy him for me’.”
Black Jag sold for $110,000 and a victory on Saturday would go a long way to recovering his purchase price.
Hulbert won’t be trackside at Rosehill due to commitments at home but he does plan to be in Sydney on Spring Champion Stakes day.
“I’ve never had one good enough to travel before in 30-odd years,” Hulbert said.
“But this bloke is a bit special.”